021: crockpot fun: broccoli carrot cheese soup

I changed the original recipe a fair bit since I wanted to go heavy on the broccoli, plus my crockpot is small (2.4 liters sounded fine for one person, but most recipes are written for a bigger one so I always have to alter them), so I’m gonna write it down here…

300-400 grams frozen broccoli
2 shredded carrots
1 small onion
enough garlic to make you happy
2 cups (500 ml) water + half a bouillon cube
150 ml milk/cream (recipe said evaporated milk… which I used and it was good, but ow lactose, so next time I might use regular lactose free milk with a splash of cream instead)
100ish grams cream cheese
100-150 grams shredded cheese
0.5 tsp salt
0.25 tsp black pepper
0.5 tsp oregano
0.5 tsp thyme
0.25 tsp nutmeg
chili powder to your heart’s content

Add broccoli, carrots, onion and garlic to a smallish crockpot. Add cream cheese, spices, water and bouillon cube. Cook until everything is cooked through, maybe 2-3 hours or so on high. (I added half the broccoli after an hour, so that increased cooking time a lot so idek what it would be if I’d put everything in at once.)

When the vegetables are tender, stir in the milk and puree the soup with an immersion blender. Cover and let cook another 10-20 minutes before adding salt, pepper and grated cheese. Cook on high until the cheese has melted.


020: Seed packets

This is possibly a bit niche and definitely completely unnecessary, but a fun thing with ADHD is that sometimes you just Have To Do Things, and this weekend that Thing was making little envelopes to put all my flower and vegetables seeds in so they’d be uniform. Previously they ranged from jars, to coffee filters (wrapped up and taped closed), and regular ones I’d bought. And then I found a glass jar to put them in. And then, suddenly, I was slaughtering a notebook for it’s pretty papers, and figured out how to make these in the perfect size, and I honestly just want to remember how I did it in case I need more. So, picture time, because just writing down the instructions without a step-by-step is useless, as I found when I tried to ask the internet how to do this.

This is the finished product! It has type, name and year they were bought or picked on the front. If they’re commercial seeds I cut out and taped the instructions on the back, but left the top untaped, so I could tuck the top of the envelope underneath it.

I happened to have these laying around, so that’s what I used. They also happened to be 15 cm (6ish inches) along the short side, so that’s the size I cut, which will give you an envelope that’s 9×6 cm (3.5×2.5ish inches).

So, cut a 15 cm square. Fold it from corner to corner, and then mark 6 cm in from the edge on both sides. (I forgot to take a picture of the actual marks. Arrows will have to do.)


Fold the sides in like this! Stand it up on it’s edge, to take a good picture.

Once you’ve folded the sides in, also fold the first of the top pieces down. Then, fold out the sides again (you only folded them first to get the top thing to line up, you see), and glue the top down like this. Glue isn’t really necessary because it’ll keep together anyway but seeds are sometimes tiny so I did it to be safe.

Then, forget what you’re doing, finish a dozen envelopes and then realise that OH RIGHT, it’s tutorial time. Continue with pictures, although you’re now using a white paper, not a green. So, unfold it again, and glue only the triangle I marked out, because you need to be able to tuck the tips in for the next step, and you can’t do that if the bottom is glued.

Fold it back up, and then fold in the sides (glue them down if you want!), and tuck them together like this.

And then you have this! I folded some extra envelopes too, because I ordered some more seeds online, and I want somewhere to put them when they arrive! I’m way more about vegetables than flowers, but when they arrive I will have the following:

carrot x 2 (regular, and mixed colour),
beets x 2 (regular and striped),
tomatoes x 2 (regular, yellow tiny tomatoes),
sugar snap peas,
broccoli (failed last year, trying again),
cucumber (I have no idea how to grow cucumber),
bell pepper (have never successfully grown bell pepper),
physalis (saved from a fruit),
butternut squash (also saved from a fruit).

marigold (picked off last year’s flowers, that were picked off the previous year’s flowers, etc, you can do this endlessly),
runner beans (which I grow for the flowers, and just save the beans to plant the following year, so I count them as flowers),
Indian cress,
two kinds of tiny blue flowers,
gigantic red sunflowers.

Summer can’t come soon enough.


019: Books of February

February was a sucky month for books! I fell into a slump and every book took weeks. But trying to keep this up.

Goal for the year: 50 books.
Books read by January 31st: 8.
Books ahead of schedule: 0.33 (50 books / 12 months x 2 = 0.33)

Book bingo: fiction: 3 of 16 books read.
Goal for the month: 2.33 total for January-February, so 0.66 ahead of schedule.

Book bingo: non-fiction: 3 of 16 books read.
Goal for the month: 2.33 total for January-February, so 0.66 ahead of schedule.



Becoming by Michelle Obama

Date: January 20th-February 10th
Stars: ★★★★☆

I loved this book. Michelle Obama feels so genuine and real, and a very intelligent, accomplished woman, coming from a working class family, with a disabled parent. Until we hit the point where she was proud (?) to push BMI measurements a standard care in children (this is utterly bullshit people, here’s my Instagram caption about it) I had heart in my eyes. It’s the one thing about her, and about this book that really disappointed me, so it’s still a 4.5 rounded down, but seriously? She’s too intelligent to ever believe that’s a good thing.


Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Date: February 16th-27th
Stars: ★★★★★

My first five star book of the year! I loved this one so much. It has a lot of low ratings and outraged people on GoodReads, but I’m not one of them. It is a somewhat exaggerated story: Libby is not just fat, she was once cut out of her house because she was too fat to fit through the door; Jack doesn’t just have face blindness, he has the most severe case the doctors have ever seen. But Libby’s story about her size, and how it affects her hits me hard, and Jack’s experience of the world, which is filled with strangers and people who expect things he can’t give them (i.e., remembering who they are), is so anxiety inducing and terrifying. As someone with agoraphobia I identify so hard with these two kids, even though neither of them do, and the love story is sweet and painful and I love it. So, five stars it is.


018: Books of January

There is NO WAY I’ll be able to keep this up for the entire year, but I’m going to start out all hopeful, intending to write about the books I’ve read in the last month. Let’s see how often that ends up happening!

Goal for the year: 50 books.
Books read by January 31st: 6.5. Ish.
Books ahead of schedule: 2.

Book bingo: fiction: 3 of 16 books read.
Goal for the month: 1.33, so 1.77 ahead of schedule, if books came in decimals.

Book bingo: non-fiction: 2 of 16 books read.
Goal for the month: 1.33, so 0.77 ahead of schedule, if books, again, came in decimals.


Halloween Is Not a Verb (Belladonna University #4) by Tansy Rayner Roberts

Date: January 7th-9th
Stars: ★★★★☆

My review for this book is, and I quote “This is the most Tansy story”. Which is true! But not very informative. Idk, guys, I’m not a big reviewer, but reading Tansy’s stuff is always like coming home, somehow. It’s nice and comfortable and fluffy and fun, and that goes double for Belladonna University, which is the ebook versions of the serials she reads on her podcast.

Truly, Wildly Deeply by Jenny McLachlan

Date: January 4th-11th
Stars: ★★★☆☆

Also not a very wordy review (which actually, was in my Instagram stories, not on GoodReads): “Not a favourite, sadly. The disability stuff was really well done, but I want more out of YA romance than I was given”. That about sums it up. I loved a book where the main character was disabled but it was just a small part of her. Her struggles, her not-struggles (being disabled doesn’t mean everything sucks, guys), all that. But the romance? No, thanks. And not just because the guy in question doesn’t take no for an answer and tells her she’s not the girl he thought she was when he sees her kiss someone else.

Kring denna kropp by Stina Wollter

Date: January 11th-14th
Stars: ★★★★☆

This one has an actual review, though I liked what I put in my stories more, which was this: “I loved this book so much, and wish it existed in translation. Stina Wollter is the kindest force of nature I know, and I want to share her words on body positivity and feminism and creativity with EVERYONE.”

This is a book in Swedish about body positivity, but the review is in English, should you want to go and read it.


Fake Geek Girl (Belladonna University #1) by Tansy Rayner Roberts

Date: January 16th
Stars: ★★★★☆

I admit it. I read this before it was on GoodReads, and didn’t grade it then, and was suddenly REALLY BOTHERED by the lack of stars and a reading date, so I quickly re-read it. I love it still, and the above ‘review’ of Halloween pretty much covers what I feel about this book as well.

Release by Patrick Ness

Date: January 15th-18th
Stars: ★★★★☆

Also has a review, go me! There are quotes from it as well in it so go read that instead. I’m just gonna tell you that it’s EVERYTHING, gut punchy and amazing and emotional. The way it depicts Adam’s sex life is so much, and I love it. So yeah, read this book. It would’ve been five stars easily, had there not been a bit of a fantasy element that I didn’t much care for woven into Adam’s story.

Hamilton: the Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter

Date: January 26th-28th
Stars: ★★★★★

Loved this one so much. I do wish I’d splurged on the hard cover, because reading it on my computer (reading it on my Kindle didn’t work AT ALL, so the Kindle app it was) was a pain and required a lot of zooming in and out and back and forth.

Other than that (and let’s be real, that was a me-issue, not a book-issue), I LOVED this book. The annotations in the lyrics were great, the peeks into Lin-Manuel’s notebooks were super cool, and the in between bits following a different actor and the way from an idea to a show was awesome.

I’m going to make a little cut here and put in some pictures of quotes I screenshotted, because I can do that. They’re not that clear because of the zoom issue, but I want them here anyway.

a picture or five this way ⌲ ⌲ ⌲


017: crockpot fun: curried vegetable soup/stew/whatever

I’m trying to learn how to eat normally again. This is a post for another day, really, but when I don’t feel well mentally I tend to fall back onto ‘don’t eat all the things’ because of my past, which is really fucking annoying when you’re all about the body positivity. So I dug out my crockpot I bought years ago and used maybe five times, just to see if I can make it work this time.

I’ve made two things and I think I’m gonna keep transcribing the recipes here since I adapt them a lot, downsize, and so forth, and simplify and want to remember what I did and how. Plus simple is awesome when food and cooking is so hard that you’ve eaten the exact same veggie burger every day for weeks straight because what is even energy?

Here’s the original recipe for this one, if you want the real deal.

I did it like this:

A bit of vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
4 small (or 2 big) carrots, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
a head of broccoli (about 200-250 grams), chopped
1 can (400 ml) crushed tomatoes
250 ml water + 1 buillion cube
about 100 ml cream or coconut milk (I used cream because I had some, and coconut milk only come in 400 ml cans)
a handful of baby spinach
a bit of salt
0.5 tbsp curry powder
0.5 tbsp brown sugar
2 cm piece ginger
a bit of crushed garlic (I now get it frozen, already minced! it has changed my life!)
a bit of chili powder
some black pepper

Do these things:
Sautee the diced onion in some oil. When translucent, add curry, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and chili powder. Cook until fragrant, and transfer to the crockpot.

Add veggies, the can of tomatoes, chickpeas and salt. Also add water + buillon cube. Stir. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.

When it looks and tastes done, stir in spinach and cream/coocnut milk, and cook until the spinach has wilted.

Serve as soup or as a stew with basically anything. I used gluten free bulgur, which is made from corn, and I’m not entirely sure if it counts as bulgur tbh. But it’s good and much cheaper than quinoa so I’m here for it.


016: Problematic sexualisation in books (and also, a review)

This was written for GoodReads, but I’m crossposting, since I want to use this blog more! Today’s topic: problematic portrayals of women in books.

Since I started my GoodReads account in 2009 I’ve given a total of six one star reviews. I’m generous, usually, because I’ll always appreciate the work that goes into a book, being a writer myself, and usually round up. One thing I can’t stand is men writing questionable portrayals of women, especially teenage girls. The most memorable one stars here are World War Z (review) and Eldvittnet (review), a Swedish crime mystery, translated to English with the title The Fire Witness.

My review for World War Z details how bad it is at portraying women, how few there are (I read 25% before deciding not to finish, and in that time there were interviews with 17 people, of which 14 were male and 3 female (82 vs 18%), 1 male and 2 females (7 vs 66%) had their looks described), and how they’re objectified and their accomplishments are passed by. For Eldvittnet I talk about how problematic it is when a crime mystery is centered around teenage girls with mental health problems, many of them self harming, when a big plot point is them being either used sexually or drugged or restrained in unethical ways by staff at a treatment centre they’ve been committed to against their will.

And then there’s this book, Oktober är den kallaste månaden, translated to English with the title October is the Coldest Month by Christoffer Carlsson (review, though this is more or less a c/p of this post), which incidentally have won a price for best crime novel for children and teens. (Insert my alarm that a book with this portrayal of a sixteen year old girl won an actual prize?)

The setting is the following: Vega, 16, lives in rural Sweden where things are bleak in every way. Police starts searching for her brother, who goes missing after being present at the scene of a crime. What they don’t know is that Vega was present too, and knows what happened. That sounds like a decent story, right? It would’ve been, if it hadn’t been so rife with unnecessary, gross depictions of sex in relation to this girl, who is 16. I’m no prude, and I’m actually a fan of books that talks about sex in frank terms, because people have sex and that’s just the way it is. I’m not in any way saying that YA it has no place in YA. I’m saying that if you, as a male, write teen girls, you really need to be mindful of how you write about sex.

In this book it’s done in a way that makes it feel… everything but that. Under the cut I’m listing all the sexual references in the first 40 pages, which is as far as I read. They’re graphic, as a warning. (Will using these terms give me gross bots? Time will tell.)

So much graphic ⌲ ⌲ ⌲


015: writer burn out

This year for NaNoWriMo I decided to write in Swedish, my first language. I haven’t used it in fiction for well over a decade, and while it worked… sort of… it also nearly broke me. The rhythm in the both languages are very different, and what sounds good in English often sounds clunky in Swedish, and the other way around. I still wanted to try. Afterwards I went head first into a I CAN’T WRITE EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE I CAN’T BE A WRITER, ETC, every writer knows this one very well, I’m sure. I’ve had writing a blog post on my to do list for about three weeks. That’s how much I didn’t want to write anymore

But. I am a writer. I think in stories. Right now I work going through old records and digitalising them to be put in geneology databases. I’m focusing on something called soldattorp — crofts (I think) for military. In the 1600s to 1800s every soldier was assigned one, a small cottage, that they lived in while on active duty. We’re going through every inhabitant and finding as much info as we can, though I’m sticking to the 1800s, because reading old handwriting from the 1600s is beyond me. At least at this point.

This is some of the pretty handwriting from the early 1800s. Most of it isn’t this legible, but this I photographed because it’s basically art. From the left that’s date of birth and baptism, name (underlined), parents identity, and if they died young, their name is struck out and there’s a date on the right with their date of death — död is Swedish for death.

We look in old records, mostly books that priests kept back in the day, noting down births, deaths, marriages, people moving away, military service, etc. Looking through these books we note things like:

  • Birth date, location of birth.
  • Death date, location of death, cause of death when possible.
  • Parents, their maiden and married names.
  • If married, their wife’s name, maiden name, birth and death date, cause of death.
  • Children, birth dates.

And so forth.

This is death records, annoyingly cropped to remove some identifying stuff. First column is name, location, name of spouse. Second is date of death. Third marks whether they’re married, unmarried, widowed, etc. Fourth is just a page number. Fifth is cause of death. Most of these are tuberculosis (lungsot), but pneumonia, heart failure, old age, etc are common too.

The other day I found a man, who was conscripted into the military at age 10, as a musician. We went through so many records trying to figure out if there was an error date wise — who even joins the military at ten years old, even in the mid 1800s? — but eventually found proof that it was indeed true. I kept digging, found his parents names, that he was unmarried, and at last, in a book like the one above, that he committed suicide, at age 31.

I spent probably two hours on him (note: I’m not actually educated in this stuff, it’s part of a program to activate disabled people, and I’m learning as I go so I’ll get faster I’m sure), and as I did it I slowly found myself wondering how a story about him would go. I probably won’t write it, because that’s not really my genre, but this guy’s fate somehow made me want to write again. I haven’t yet, because I’m busy with Christmas prep and trying to give my brain a break, but the feeling of it returning, slowly, over a week or more, is quite something.

I’m not entirely sure how or when I’ll start writing again, but a week ago the answer was NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS (I love a bit of dramatics tbh), so this is nice. I’m not even sure what the point of this post even is, other than that writing a few words seemed like a good place to start, and to note that writer burnout is very real, and I’m grateful that I’m starting to recover.

(As an aside, if you think you have this problem, read this or this for some pointers, I found these three posts helpful, particularly the first two.)


014: #fallforbooksmugglers, day 18-31

Part 2 of me being the weirdo that transcribes Instagram challenges so I have them in a nice collection coming up. No, it doesn’t make sense. And no, I don’t care.


Day 18: day 18: Shelfie. This is always my favourite prompt. Here’s my big bookcase! Over half the books I own are actually on my Kindle, so it’s not full and shares space with yarn, candles, photographs, a Tardis-mug filled with pens, two My Little Ponies, a yarn winder and some other crap. It’s also the first piece of furniture I bought when moving out of my parents’ house nearby 20(!) years ago, so I love it even more because of that, even though it’s just a standard IKEA-shelf.

Lots more under here ⌲ ⌲ ⌲


013: #fallforbooksmugglers, day 1-14

Okay, so I’m an old lady of the internet  and want to save some of my Instagram content onto here, so I don’t lose it. Today this will be my #fallforbooksmugglers month because I almost completely finished it! Which is a struggle with month long challenges. This is super image heavy, and got really long so I’m dividing it on several posts.

Day 1: last SF/F read: Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire (4 stars). Still have 18% to go but it still counts! This novella was a happy surprise too because I wasn’t a huge fan of book 1 in the series.

Day 2: favourite SF/F read in 2018 (so far!): Impossible to choose, but I decided to give Swedish fantasy writer Sara Bergmark Elfgren some love. Her book Norra Latin, book 1 of Stockholmsserien (review, 5 stars), is about a girl who moves to Stockholm to go to a theatre high school since her local high school doesn’t offer that program.

Side note: In Swedish you have to choose a focus from the start and the classes are tailored to that, with some base classes everyone takes regardless of what you choose. Some of the less common options are only available in bigger cities.

Either way: the school is an old, amazing building (which in reality hasn’t been a school since the 1980s) home to some supernatural fun stuff. The two main characters are both queer, and it took some getting into but I really liked it. As far as I know it hasn’t been translated to English.

Lots more under here ⌲ ⌲ ⌲


012: Knitting! Rogue hoodie!

It’s November, which means that I want to blog. (I don’t know how they are connected either. Just run with it.) So naturally, I had to spend three days figuring out how to do name server things and get my domain back and installing WordPress and play with themes and plugins and Google Fonts and… yeah. All those things.

Because somehow the free WordPress blog I had wasn’t enough. So I guess I’ll have to try and blog more than twice a year to make up for it, because that was a lot of effort.

I kind of want to talk about knitting and not writing, though, so let’s do that.


Pattern: Good old Rogue, from 2004 or something like that.
Yarn: Drops Cotton Merino (50/50 blend)

I knitted a Rogue about 10 years ago and promptly gained weight and it didn’t fit anymore. This time I made some modifications with this in mind:

  1. It’s one size larger across the hips, since I’m bigger across the hips than the boob area. So I cast on for the 40.5 inch chest size, knitted that for a while, and then slowly decreased along the cable until I hit the stitch count for the size below.
  2. I made it a bit longer as well, since my usual issue with things that don’t fit is a gap over the belly, which is annoying as hell.
  3. The zipper. Omg the zipper. I actually knitted it in the round and did steeks down the front and sewed in a zipper. By hand. Twice. It was hell. But even if I change my meds again and gain weight, the zipper will help me wear it anyway.

Before steeks. This is also about a year ago, because I put it down for Christmas knitting last year and forgot to pick it back up for a really long time.


I don’t have a picture of the way I did the steeks, but basically I split the cable around the hood down the middle and knitted a six stitch panel in the middle. (Which honestly, I wish I’d done at least ten stitches wide, in retrospect.) This is a close up of how it looked, and as a bonus, an image showing the moment I realised that I’d bought and spent four days sewing in a zipper that was at least three inches too short. I don’t know how I managed to both buy, pin in, and sew a zipper (and then leave the house wearing it) without realising that the zipper wasn’t long enough, but I did. And then I had to dig through my stuff and found a really old metal zipper that fit almost perfectly. It did take me another two weeks to actually do it, though, because I was so sick of zippers at that point.

My cat, however, was not team ‘finish knitting this damn thing’, since she really didn’t want to lose her favourite nap spot. That’s okay. I managed it in the end, without her support.