Thursday, January 7, 2010
I stumbled upon this movie trailer and have fallen in love. The documentary, 'Babies' by Thomas Balmes, follows the lives of four babies (Namibian, Mongolian, Japanese and American) in their first year. From birth to their very first toddle, from what I have read and can gather, the film reflects our most basic and universal human qualities, reminding us that we are all the same regardless of race, culture, religion and/or country. It is due to release in March 2010 in the US, so I think we'll have to wait a while before being able to see it here.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
I made a new version of pumpkin soup tonight (for some lighter options, see my older pumpkin soup post here). I roasted the pumpkin and some garlic and then added it to the saucepan with the usual veggie stock, spices and onion. It's a little bit richer than past recipes so you don't need to top it with cream.
This was my very first pita bread. It was delicious- I used whole wheat bread flour but it didn't seem to make any negative difference. I think it could have used a little more rolling out in some parts, but it still rose nicely. The
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Did I mention in my woeful post that when I returned home, I found that my urban garden had been brutally savaged? It was. Not a tomato in sight- and let me tell you I counted 13 big, fat, green, juicy ones before I left, and didn't get to sink my teeth into one! I am hoping one of the many ladies on my watering roster took a few home (I haven't spoken to all of them yet), but I have a feeling it was more likely a rat. We live really close to the ocean, and apparently beach rats are a native species around here. There were big gaping holes in the pots as if something had been digging for gold. My cucumbers had also been torn apart. I swear, every time a cucumber sprouts up it reaches about 2 inches long and then something snatches it up. Bah!
Apparently zucchini is not the veggie of choice for small rodents, however my plants have had their day anyway. In total we harvested 21 zucchinis from 2 plants before the holidays. When I returned, there was no more regrowth, but I couldn't really expect much more.
The good news is, I've revamped. I got rid of anything dead, yellow, dying or being eaten to the point of no return.
I had a mind to get rid of the tomato plants but upon closer inspection, all three of them are flowering again with some lush green regrowth, so I pruned the crap out of them (not sure if this will be bad or good in the long run- I literally tore off any branch that looks wilted, yellow or dying). I even found a bunch of new baby tomatoes hiding- I'm hoping they're too high up for a rat... but what about the possums.
I took mercy on one of the three cucumber plants, only because it has this pristine looking mini fruit... we'll see what happens. In hindsight, I really don't think cucumbers can be trained to grow upwards like I have tried to do. They really are ground-runners at heart.
There are still tiny little carrots that seem to be doing OK, but I won't hold my breath, as the earwigs are also a huge fan of my animal kingdom cafeteria.
I did make two exciting discoveries though:
My hot peppers have finally come to fruition.
And we have our very first kaffir limes. We have been cooking with the leaves, but I am looking forward to trying out the actual fruit.
Finally, I replanted a whole bunch of lettuce before we left, as my others had gone to seed. They are growing nicely, and haven't been eaten into at all. There's also some delicious silverbeet growing next to it, but I can't figure out what to cook it with- suggestions?
There is a a huge herb garden in our front which is thriving- we even have lemongrass- I am so excited about it! And, my two strawberry plants have flowered again even after all that heat.
Hmmm.... actually, after the revamp I feel a lot more positive about the whole garden. It was just the tomato thing that got to me.
Now, my last question for all you green thumbs out there is (and please say yes), can I reuse my potting soil? The soil from the zucchini and cucumber plants is especially rooty, but I really want to use it again for something else. What do you think?
Stay tuned for the next update- I'll put in another zucchini plant, but I am not sure what I will do with the other big pot I have, I'll have to do some gardenshop browsing- one of my favourite pastimes!
Monday, January 4, 2010
Thank you so much to everyone for their kind words of support after my mini meltdown yesterday. I'm slowly getting back into the rhythm of things.
This morning we took our time getting out of the house. L'il B spread his toys from one end of the room to the other and stayed occupied long enough for me to check a whole lot of things off my list. Nice.
This afternoon I made an extra large batch of dough for our usual bread, and used the excess for pizza bases. It was L'il B's first taste of pizza. He helped roll it and top it, but it took him a while to actually warm up to the idea of eating it. At first he insisted on peeling off and eating all the toppings separately and then eating the plain dough and crust last. To each his own.
For more summer moments head to Jodi's for a list of summer snap players.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
I have a confession to make. Sometimes, I try to make myself as light as possible, climb up and over the rails, and curl up into a tiny ball in L'il B's cot (crib). I often do this after he wakes up from a nap and I want a little more quiet time before we get up and start our next adventure. It usually buys me another 5-10 minutes of peace as we both lie there and centre ourselves.
But on occasion, I crawl into bed with him, not out of desire, but because I know that he really needs a little help in the form of love and cuddles to get to sleep. Perhaps I know he's overtired and emotional, or his teeth have been bugging him, or he has a cold, or he's had a really bad day, or as in the case today, he's jetlagged and his body rhythms are all over shop.
I breastfed him and put him down, as I always do and shut the door, and a few seconds later he began to cry. I started my count down. If L'il B gets upset when I put him down or wakes in the middle of the night, I often count down slowly from 200. Most often, if he's not really upset, he'll be back asleep by the time I get to 150. Today, he was only half crying, and then stopping for a bit, but this continued for my whole 200 count and I could also tell his cries were turning to anger, as his frustration with my tardy arrival grew. I have never left L'il B long enough for him to get completely worked up into a screaming fit. I just can't do it. And as he's gets older it's not because I'm too soft-hearted to listen to his cries, but because I never want to be the one to teach him about anger, rage, abandonment and frustration. Not like that.
So, I crawled into his cot as he stood there with a few tears streaming down his face, and whispered, "It's ok, Mama's here now. Come lie down." And he did. He lay down without a peep, as I wrapped one arm around him and put the blanket over both of us, and he stared at his mobile for what seemed like an eternity, sometimes chatting a bit, sometimes experimenting with the fluttering of his fingers. I lay there with my eyes shut, thinking of the million and five things I have to do because we just got home, and every inch of the place looks like a bomb hit it, but eventually, his breathing began to slow and he rolled to his side and fell asleep.
Of course, I couldn't tell you how long it took for him to doze off, because I had beat him to it. When I did wake up, I crept as quietly out of that cot as possible (not an easy feat, I assure you) and tiptoed out of his room to the safety and quiet of my bed, with a blog entry in mind, an easy heart, and another valuable lesson from my baby: to slow down, to really listen to him, to respect his emotions as I would anyone else's and to live in the moment regardless of what "needs" to be done.
after all was said and done, and I placed his comforter and teddy on top of him
If you are a daily reader (not sure if there is even 'one' to be honest- other than my Mother), you may have noticed two things. One: I missed my very first entry yesterday. After a 36 hour journey, the jetlag rendered me utterly useless. I'm sorry. Two: Today is not a "Serene Sunday". To be honest, today has been anything but "serene". I'm under the weather and jetlagged, the place looks horrendous, and I am just hoping I can get to the store at some point to buy a few groceries for tomorrow morning. Without discussing how it was made possible (it is what it is at this point), an entire glass bottle of Italian olive oil broke inside L'il B's dufflebag, and 3/4 of his wardrobe is under intense washing surgery with the chance of no survival. I am not one to get worked up about material things, but this makes me sick to my stomach. I'm hoping Monday will be a little more of a fresh start.
Friday, January 1, 2010
FOR MY PHYSICAL, MENTAL and SPIRITUAL HEALTH
No more fish and/or seafood (ie. vegetarian not pescatarian anymore)
Weight-train once/week (I've become a bit of a yoga junkie)
Read a book once every 3 weeks (that's 17 books in a year)
Read the paper (a good one) more often
Meditate 4/week (ideally before the little one stirs)
FOR MY HEART
Abide whole-heartedly to my new favourite mantra (I am so sorry, I read this on a blog and can't remember who's I read it on, so please speak up if it was you, and thank you!):
Be Kind, Be Gentle, Be Safe.
Catch up with girlfriends more frequently
Find something to be grateful for everyday, and share this with my husband before bed
Join a choir or do anything else that will get me singing my heart out again (I miss it too much!)
FOR MY HOME
Only eat/make homemade cheese (that has been made from stress-free Jalna yogurt)
Make my own soap for the very first time
Menu plan more meticulously- bi-weekly plans as opposed to weekly wherever possible
Replant the front garden from scratch (we'll be renting for at least another year, so carpe diem!)
Make a rag rug (as featured in Handmade Home)
Sew an outfit for myself (and if this is successful, a few)
Knit a softie
Make, Create or Mend one thing every week
FOR THE EARTH
Limit air conditioning to days above 35
Limit heat to days below 15
Use less baby wipes when changing nappies
Bring containers to restaurants for take-away orders
Hang the laundry out even in the winter, and take it in in the evenings and throw in the drier to finish off
Try to re-use and re-purpose household items at least 3 times (for different purposes) before throwing them out (example- a old man's t-shirt to a pair of pajamas for bub to a dishcloth to a cleaning rag to a button top).
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE!
May 2010 bring you love, life, laughter and above all, peace.