Archive for November, 2008

Monday Five

Monday Five is a weekly segment in the Ongaku!Project WordPress where we present five random O!P members with a question. Their answers to that question will be posted here each Monday. It’s a unique chance to get to know the O!P members a bit better!

Q: Introduce your pets (past or present) to us!

Tenkei : Ah! We’ve had so many pets in the past cus my mom’s a vet. Right now we have 5 dogs (whom suki was afraid to meet!) and 3 cats. At one point when I was little we had 12 cats, 2 birds, 2 turtles. Out of all of these animals, technically only 2 have been mine. One of the turtles, named Torty (lol). We lost him a few years ago when the guy who comes to read the gas meter left the gate open and Torty headed for the hills… And the other pet that was mine was a HUGE, fluffy, orange and white cat named Meatsa.

Odango : I currently only have one cat, but I treat her more like she’s my baby sometimes I think XD We got her about 2 weeks before Christmas back in 1998 so she’ll be turning 10 this year ^^ My mother and I decided to call her snowflake since she’s pure white and also because she’s a winter baby. Although, she never really responds to that. Instead the only name she really responds to is “baby” XD Some friends tease me because whenever I actually do hold her it’s like a baby, hehe~ But it’s just because I love her so much~!! Even though she’s an older cat she still loves to play with us and she’s always very effectionate. She loves to snuggle up to either my mom or myself when we’re sleeping, it’s so sweet and cute <333 ^^

Snowflake

Snowflake

Chococat : I have a lovely Tonkinese kitty called Tia, who’s 6 years old and has been living with me for over 5 years. She’s very small and cute, but terribly noisy! She has a typical Oriental cat meow, which means that it’s very loud and she’s not shy about using it as often as she likes! But she’s very chattery so you can hold conversations with her, and when I’m on my own in the house it’s like having another person around because she has such a personality. She’s a bit crazy – most cats like being stroked, but Tia likes having her butt spanked XD She likes it so much that she regularly runs up to people, turns round and shoves her butt in the air in the hope that they’ll slap it for her! Argh, I have a dirty harlot kitty XD

Tia

Tia

My other pets are a bit more unusual 🙂 I keep snails – I have Giant African Land Snails (achatina fulica), and some smaller tree snails from Barbados (caracolus marginella). I know that some people find the thought of having snails as pets a bit weird, but I find them really cute and fascinating. They really do have individual personalites, characters, likes and dislikes and so on. Currently I have four little caracolus marginella, all full grown, I have two young regular achatina fulica who I’ve raised from babies (Pilot and Moya), and I have two “rodatzi” variant achatina fulica – they’re the same as regular fulica, except that they have plain yellow shells instead of the brown stripey shells the “normal” fulica have. The rodatzi are called Shaiming and Meifeng. They’re all varying sizes – Shaiming is the biggest as he was born in January, so he tends to bulldoze the smaller snails out of his way when he’s got a destination on his mind! Snails are quite easy to keep – you need a big enough tank for them, something for them to live on (coir, moss, and compost are frequent choices for snail owners), and some hiding and climbing places for them (something simple like a plant pot on its side is fine, though I have various polyresin branches and logs). Then you’ll probably need a heat mat attached to the side of the tank to keep their habitat warm, and you need to spray/mist the tank with water a couple of times a day to keep it moist and humid. They also need a source of calcium to help their shells grow strong – cuttlefish is good and they happily eat it. Finally, you need food for them – they’ll eat a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, some species of snail also apparently will eat raw meat. They also like brown bread, and some people say that their snails will eat cat or dog biscuits, hamster food, tortoise food, and other things. My snails are all very fond of lettuce, cucumber, sweet potato, courgette, and mango, but they will happily eat other things too 🙂 I definitely recommend them as a pet, they’re great to watch and very cute! 🙂

Pilot and Moya

Pilot and Moya

Suki : I’ve had a grand total of four pets in the past. The first two were a pair of terrapins that lived in a veggie-lined basin at home. I had them when I was about four to seven years of age and after they died, I didn’t have any other pets coz our home was fully carpeted then so having a furry animal like a cat or a dog in the house equals more work for mom and grandma when it came to cleaning up. And it doesn’t help that I suffer from sinusitis and my dad’s skin is hypersensitive. So naturally, cats and dogs were, and still are to this day, banned from the house. 😛

The next pet that I had (very briefly) was a large black guinea pig that a Korean girl in my Bible study group got for me when I was in my 3rd year at the University. She came to me in a box and I was quite quite shocked when I first met her coz well. She was really quite large for a guinea pig and the moment any of us touched her, she would jump quite violently giving all of us quite a start. So seeing that I was quite scared of the guinea pig and being the dear that she was, my friend went brought the guinea pig back to the store and got for me my last pet. A golden furred hamster which my friend Alison promptly named ‘Ah Choi’ or ‘Fortune’ in Cantonese coz his shiny fur made him look like one of those old fashioned gold ingots. I had him with me for almost a year but I don’t think the poor thing lived very well with me coz well, hamsters being hamsters, they love running on the wheel right? But for some reason, the wheel in his cage was really really noisy and since he ran on it at night, even if I could ignore the noise generated from the spinning wheel, my neighbour in the next room couldn’t. So most of the time, his wheel would be off and he would be gnawing on the grills to his cage instead.

Anyway, when it came to the time for me to leave, I couldn’t bring him back with me so I had to bring him to the pet store to ask that he be given a new home instead. I have no idea as to how he has been since then but I’m quite sure that whoever that took care of him thereafter would have treated him very well coz he was quite a cute rodent indeed. LOL!

PS : What ten-chan said was true. I was terrified of his dogs coz they are HUUUUUUUUGE and hence while everybody else went to ten’s to visit, I just settled myself in the garden to wait instead. I kind of regret not going in coz I would have loved to see ten’s room and all but erm… Yes… Big dogs… Scary! >_<”’

Michi: When I was little, all I had was fish. It wasn’t until I was in my early teen years that my little brother got a hamster and the family got a bunny. I wasn’t attached to my brother’s hamster, but for five years I loved our bunny! We got him when he was just a couple weeks old, so I saw him grow from a tiny little bunny into a very large full-grown rabbit. He went through about four cages because he just kept getting bigger! He was all white so I named him Yuki, the Japanese word for snow. He was very sweet and loved it when we had a big backyard. He loved to munch on carrots, and would shove his head right under your hand to demand that you pet him. :] Sadly, Yuki died of cancer almost 3 years ago in February 2006.

Yuki

Yuki

Currently, we have a dog named Lonnie. I call her a puppy even though she’s about 6 1/2 years old now, because she’s a Pomeranian (mix?) and is really small. We had her for about 2-3 years at the same time as Yuki, and he was bigger than her! Lonnie is a sweetie and acts like my little baby. She loves being curled up in laps and snuggled, and is more like a cat during the daytime than her naps… up until she wants to go bark at something!

Lonnie and Yuki

Lonnie and Yuki

Lonnie gets really excited when it’s time for a walk, and she recognizes the word itself. She’ll start jumping up and down and running around in circles once her leash appears. Occasionally, she’ll accompany me on jogs as well. But sometimes she won’t want to keep up and I end up carrying her on the way back… >< That’s okay though, because I carry her around the house a lot anyway. 8D

Lonnie

Lonnie

If you have suggestions for future Monday Five questions, send them to twissie@raspberry-style.net

November 24, 2008 at 3:45 pm 4 comments

Pumpkin Cookies

With the biggest autumn holiday coming up, what better time than to share more pumpkin themed recipes! It may be past Halloween, but these cake-like cookies are probably better suited as a Thanksgiving dessert.

This is not my original recipe, but it’s been tested, tried, and proved delicious so I’m sharing it with all of you!

Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree (I recommend this stuff!)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached all-purpose white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions
You’ll need two bowls. In a large bowl, mix the butter and sugar. (If there’s no time to wait for the butter to soften, try microwaving it for a very short time like 20 seconds!) Then add the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla and mix all together until well blended. In a smaller bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. Add the flour mix to the larger bowl, and stir all together until you get a nice soft batter.

Use a teaspoon (or tablespoon if you want big ones!) and scoop the batter into rounded spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Leave some space in between for the cookies to spread as they bake. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. You can check if they’re done by inserting a toothpick into one of the cookies. If the toothpick comes out clean, they’re ready! The cookies should be slightly brown on the bottom. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to a plate or cooling sheet.

And here’s a picture of my finished cookies:

Good luck and enjoy! 😀

November 22, 2008 at 9:03 am 3 comments

Monday Five

Monday Five is a weekly segment in the Ongaku!Project WordPress where we present five random O!P members with a question. Their answers to that question will be posted here each Monday. It’s a unique chance to get to know the O!P members a bit better!

Q: 20 November is International Children’s Day. Share with us as to how Children’s Day is observed/celebrated in your country.

Twissie : This question actually surprised me. What, we have an International Children’s Day?! I couldn’t remember ever doing any special activities for a day like this before, so I searched around on Norwegian sites for info… seems like we don’t really celebrate it. Some schools arrange raffles or outings and the like to celebrate the day, but there are no big main events. Strange, I wonder why we don’t make a bigger deal of it. Hmm.

Tamuma : International childrens day isn’t a well-known day here in the UK, and those that do recognise it tend to do small charity events and fundraisers. However, around the same time of year the UK holds one if it’s biggest charity events in aid of children: Children in Need. Children in Need raises money to help disadvantaged children in the UK, with groups all over the country holding sponsored events in the name of charity. There is also a variety show where celebrities perform and fundraisers around the country are showcased whilst (the legend that is) Terry Wogan rustles up support from the public. The show also features the very cute Pudsey – a bear with a bandana over his eye.

Rei-chan : I really have no idea… XD I know here in Puerto Rico we celebrate “el día del niño” (children’s day) in August 8, and schools usually have some fun activities for the little students on that day. But I really don’t know if we have some special celebrations for the International Children’s Day… If I had children or little siblings I’d probably be better informed about this, but I didn’t even know November 20th was International Children’s Day till I got asked this question XD

Ahrjay : I originally came from the Philippines. There, Children’s Day wasn’t observed by the government or by its citizens. That was what I think until recently. I found out that Philippines do celebrate it… on Christmas Day. Therefore, what we normally do on Christmas is what we do on Children’s Day: exchange gifts, give aguinaldo (money) to kids, eat and drink, etc. Right now though, I live in Guam. Here, we don’t celebrate it at all, which I think is a shame. I think it would be great to celebrate it to show to the kids that we value them and recognizes them as part of the society. After all, they will be the future of our country and of our world.

Anton : Actually, in Sweden the International Children’s Day is celebrated on the first monday of October. But there aren’t many people that celebrate it actually. I don’t even think most people are aware of that special day. So there isn’t much more to write about it I’m afraid.

If you have suggestions for future Monday Five questions, send them to twissie@raspberry-style.net

November 17, 2008 at 1:15 pm Leave a comment

Monday Five

Monday Five is a weekly segment in the Ongaku!Project WordPress where we present five random O!P members with a question. Their answers to that question will be posted here each Monday. It’s a unique chance to get to know the O!P members a bit better!

Q: In some parts of the world, 11 November is observed as Armistice Day or Veterans Day. If you had access to a time machine, which point in time would you travel to and why?

Rayna Black : I’d like to travel back to when my parents met. I’ve learnt about their history from what they told me, but I’d really like to see what happened back then. My mum was a dancer and mostly did showdancing in bars and she met my dad, because he was a musician, on keyboards. With a band called Puzzle People. It was a really big group, with trumpets, drums, guitars, vocals and everything. I’ve heard cassettes from back then and it sounded so cool. My mum and her friends danced with the band in a big place for entertainment purposes. They don’t have any videos of back then, but I’d really like to see the whole thing. 🙂

Suki : There are so many points in time that I would love to travel to but the first that I can think of is to go back to about 420/80 BC to visit all the original Seven Wonders of the World! Only the Pyramid of Giza remains now and it’s kinda battered (but of course) so it really would be a pretty awesome sight to see it being built or what it looked like all shiny and new. But the highlight of any trip that I would make back to the past would be a visit to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. It was supposed to be one of the most spectacular things on earth and Babylonian civilisation was supposed to be the most advanced of its time, so it would be quite interesting to see how the Babylonians lived and worked, how their social and government systems ran, etc. One could even take a side trip to see if Atlantis really existed! XD My other more practical option would be to trek back about a 100 years or so into the past to instruct people on the rudiments of environmental conservation so that when it comes to our turn a century later, it probably would not be quite so bad.

Michi : I love history very much, so this is a tough question! Off the top of my head I’d probably like to go back to early 1400s France and see Joan of Arc. When I was little I really loved her story, and I think it’d be amazing to get to experience the Hundred Years’ War. If not that, another piece of French history also interests me. The French Revolution of the late 1700s is something romanticized through stories like the manga Rose of Versailles, and I’d love to get to see it first hand. See Marie Antoinette, the court as it was then, the villages… It would be such an experience to get to witness that! Either dining with Louis and Antoinette or helping storm the bastille, I’d adore the opportunity to witness any part. If I had to stick to my country I’d probably say the American Revolution around the same time. I’m related to Benjamin Franklin on my father’s maternal side, so that could be interesting to see.

Rei-chan : I can think of waaaaay too many important historic moments in time to which I’d love to travel… But since I have to choose only one, I’ll say the day I was born XD It’s not an important historic day for the rest of the world, but I’d find it super interesting to see my parents on that day, how they felt, how I looked and moved on my first seconds on this world… Nowadays people record that on video for memories, but back when I was born that wasn’t the case, so it’d just be really special to somehow be there on that day. Though technically I WAS there, just don’t remember… XD

Kacchin : My choice for time travel, I think, would be maybe a strange one.. I am very interested in the theory of evolution, so I think I would really like to travel back to the beginning of the entire universe. I could watch the Big Bang [or whatever else may have happened 16 billion years ago!] and see the formation of all the stars. That would be a wonderful thing to see, don’t you think? ^-^

If you have suggestions for future Monday Five questions, send them to twissie@raspberry-style.net

November 9, 2008 at 5:33 pm Leave a comment

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

Rei-chanI love Thanksgiving dinners, because the desserts are so particularly yummy, with all the cinammon and ginger and other spices *_*… So I wanted to share with everyone this great recipe from Paula Deen’s show in the Food Network. I made it last year for my family’s thanksgiving dinner, and it was great and everyone loved it. It’s delicious, beautiful, and SO easy to make!!

Ingredients:

  • 2 (14-ounce) packages gingerbread mix  ( Instead of this, I used a 16-oz pkg of pound cake, and added 1/2 tsp cinammon and 1/4 tsp ginger to the mix )
  • 1 (5.1-ounce) box cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 (30-ounce) can pumpkin pie filling
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar  ( I only used 1/4 and it came out fine )
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon
  • 1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping
  • 1/2 cup gingersnaps, optional  ( I used walnuts instead )

Directions:

Bake the gingerbread according to the package directions; cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the pudding and set aside to cool. Stir the pumpkin pie filling, sugar, and cardamom into the pudding. Crumble 1 batch of gingerbread (or poundcake) into the bottom of a large trifle bowl. Pour 1/2 of the pudding mixture over the gingerbread, then add a layer of whipped topping. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread, pudding, and whipped topping. Sprinkle of the top with crushed gingersnaps (or walnuts), if desired. Refrigerate overnight. The trifle can be layered in a punch bowl, or in individual little cups/glasses.

Trifle

Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen.

November 9, 2008 at 6:42 am 1 comment

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