Showing posts from September, 2013

spaces in paradise

So, Sarah Wilson is my new favourite blogger and health guru.  I like to have myself a health guru, sometimes three.  Today she wrote Build gaps in your life.  Pauses.  Proper pauses, which I really liked.  She quotes someone called Thom Yorke who if you like Radiohead will mean something to you.  It didn't mean something to me, but nevertheless I could see the value of his comment (also quoted by Sarah Wilson):
I think what makes people ill a lot of the time is the belief that your thoughts are concrete and that you're responsible for your thoughts. Whereas actually — the way I see it — your thoughts are what the wind blows through your mind.
Then I found a link at the bottom to an older post from Sarah which is also pretty good: Sunday life: on the importance of having space. and then this: Sunday life: in which I plunge into mess.  There were more but you get the picture - Sarah Wilson is an inspiring read.  This is a great title as well as post: Sunday life: the gorgeous…

Family weekend

In which my baby boy went away for a hockey tournament without any of us because he desperately wanted to go with his team and without any of his whanau and he was sick on the way over Arthurs Pass and he still played four games and got player of the day this morning and now he is safe and sound in bed.

In which his sister missed him and wailed that the last time she saw him she was brushing her teeth and she wanted to go with her father to pick him up from the turf but actually for most of the weekend she had fun being the only child until this afternoon it seemed to get a step too lonely for her.

In which the Village Milk outlet opened in our small wet town (it rained to celebrate the occasion - we are proper dairying country here, no pilfering of water needed for basic amenities on this side of the alps) and we got to have a good look through and really enjoyed talking to the farmers involved (both our local farming couple and the Village Milk pioneers from Takaka) and had sausage …

celebrating womens suffrage

Today is 120 year since women gained the vote in New Zealand.  Twenty years ago I was an enthusiastic history student at a conference celebrating the centenary of women's suffrage in Wellington.  My strongest memory is not of the conference itself (though I remember enjoying that) but of the function at Government House where the first female governor general, Cath Tizard presided.  I was unsure of what I would do after I finished my honours year, just weeks away at the time, and made jokes about growing sheep to make wool and knit jerseys when very kind and well meaning people asked me.

Tonight I didn't make it to the function celebrating 120 years of female suffrage in Kumara, fabulous though it sounded.  After a day at work, my two lovely children and I ended up stepping off the whirl of activities which usually settles on kung fu on a Thursday night.  I made them endless toast for their post-dinner hungry tummies and then we read Whacky Wednesday and The Lorax in the big b…

oxtail and merino

1. Remember this pattern?  It's the Cake Patterns pavlova skirt and wrap top:
I've made two circle skirts from this pattern, but the top, which I cut from lovely fine black merino many months ago, is still in unassembled pieces.  Tonight I took it out of the box and had another look at it.  I drew the lines in on the dart markings as per the suggestion of some reviews I've read online.  It's time to make it, not least because the weather will get too warm for merino if I wait much longer.  I'm putting it up here to record the pledge to complete it.

2. oxtail.  It cooks up beautifully in the slow cooker and even Brighid liked it.  Now I need to work out what to put in the slow cooker for tomorrow night's dinner.  Maybe some concoction with bacon, anchovies, chickpeas and pumpkin?  With greens added in the last hour...

Anyways, I'm back on a blog roll, so another kitchen report is likely.  I'll keep writing until I have something to say - knocking women b…

useful skills

Useful skills or knowledge from the past few years, in action today:
1.  sewing presents.  Brighid went to two sixth birthday parties today, and each little girl got a pink knit circle skirt which I made last night and this morning.
2.  more sewing.  I altered the waistband of one skirt this morning, and am part way through altering another now.  Inwards not outwards.
3.  gardening with compost.  The tumble composter we bought two years ago is made of plastic, which turns out not to be strong enough for the job when the compost is heavily wet in the West Coast spring.  It refused to rotate for me this week.  I emptied some of it out onto the garden today.  Favourite Handyman cleared the chook coop out and put fresh wood shavings in it.  I made two spots in the garden for piling up the wood shavings/chook poo mixture and put a big dollop of compost/worms in it to get it going.  I'm thinking about how to disassemble the composter and make it work better.  If we took the barrel off t…

To the food purists

To the people who want all foods made from scratch and like great grandma would have eaten (shame if Great Grandma was poor and had to make do on awful food, huh?) and have as their third hobby to find a new food travesty to uncover or read about every fortnight, I want to say...

It's not all KFC and health disaster if I reach for the pre-prepared curry mix.  I may not be at home to make everything from scratch and nothing was certified organic, but we're rocking along in good food land nevertheless.  Detailed breakdown:
1. Before bed, Monday night: pull frozen chicken pieces out of large bag of chicken pieces which was on special two months ago and put in slow cooker to thaw (slow cooker off).
2. Tuesday morning, 6.15am: spoon chicken stock and fat left over from last roast chicken over the pieces.  Spread spoonfuls of shop-bought red curry paste over chicken pieces.  Scrub and slice potatoes, peel and chop garlic and shallots and carrots, peel and finely chop ginger, and sprea…

guest post

Once upon a time there was a woman called Rose.  She owned a shop.  She made shoes and dresses to sell in the shop.  They were so pretty that everyone bought them.  Rose was rich until one day Rose had children.  They were twins.  One of the twins was a girl, the other was a boy.  One day a robber stole her children and kidnapped them.  When Rose found out that her children were gone she closed the shop down and started to look for them.  She looked everywhere but she couldn't find them anywhere.  Then one day she found them.  The same robber that stole them was guarding them so Rose rang the policeman to come and put the robber in jail and he did.  Rose rescued her children and they lived happily ever after.

Brighid, aged 6 1/2.

reflections on an intermittent voice

Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.  It's fantastic and really important and I'm so glad we got it as part of the Book Discussion Scheme for the local book group I go to.  Thinking about what to do next in terms of the challenge to action against injustice to women (specifically, sex trafficking, maternal mortality and female genital cutting) and how to involve my own children in understanding and making links.

I'm not quite ready to give up blogging.  I started six years ago and that's a pretty good haul in my view.  But whereas then my blog gave me an outlet for my thoughts and to develop ideas and responses to my world while I was in the thick of nappies and kindy, my situation has changed a lot over time and staying up late to reflect on this blog is something I opt not to do, favouring instead getting some sleep or going it to work to get things done at a time when no one is around to give me more jobs, or doing laundry or organising hockey trips (…

Ruhlman's salted chicken

Michael Ruhlman is my latest food/blog/writer discovery.  I tried his recipe for roast chicken today (the key new thing for me was putting lots of salt on the skin) and the result was very very nice.  I haven't worked out the science of why the meat was so juicy with the salt on the skin, but that it was.

I've also been gardening in the sunshine.  No photos, but much pleasure.

I also challenged myself to a weekend laundry marathon.  My challenge was to get through the household laundry (including the many odd socks I found when I cleaned our bedroom) which had built up all week, carried on through the weekend AND get it all folded and away.  Only one basket left to fold.  I don't record it because it was or is interesting, I record it because it was such a big challenge.

My other challenge for the week is to get lots of sleep every single night.  Which is not compatible with further pontificating here.