Thursday, 14 November 2013

Scrap-booking, Stir-fry Cooking and Yoghurt-hooking

I'm a potter.  Not one that throws pots and makes goodies from clay.  Just someone who loves to be busy, to potter around!  Like Harry.   Making and creating.  I've done some scrap-boooking.  Just not the really cool stuff that people do with photos and cool display techniques.  I used old scrap pieces of paper to make little books.  Borrowed the binder from work and set to.  I am a hoarder!  And it was long overdue to clean out my cubbies, which hold all sorts of paraphanalia from string and glue, to paper and sewing stuff.  I made a cardboard template and simply cut all pieces up to size.  That easy.  Then arranged them together, punched the holes (easy-peasy with binder) and inserted old plastic binding spines I had hoarded from an old book project.
A potter's delight... the mess of a project underway
I cut up some flower pics from an old 2010 diary, cool pics from old calenders reaching back to 2007 (yep!  I am that kind of a hoarder!!) to insert amongst the pages for some jolly old joie d' vivre!.  They're quirky little books of blank or patterned pages - not sure what I'll do with them - poetry from my love, or even gifts for quirky people like me who enjoy home-made, not-so-perfect gifts from the heart!

A selection of scrap books
The next project that followed was card- making.  I cut up old brochures, pamphlets and a book of Fijian images I bought from an Op shop for $1, with a broken spine, to create some blank cards for those occasions when you need a  greeting card to say thanks, or welcome, or whatever the sentiment.  I guess I could have bought a pack printed in China for a few dollars, but that wouldn't have given the cards a personal touch.  Besides, it was a lot of fun.
Fijian Images to remind us of our holiday 
Indian-inspired images from a little Hindu poetry booklet and
 a Hare Krishna pamphlet
The greeting cards made from images from a catalogue selling
wooden stamps
By the way, there's no such thing as yoghurt-hooking, it just rhymed with scrap-booking!  But I guess it could work - to hook you up with yoghurt!  Yoghurt hooking.  I used to make kefir for about a year and a half.  The process is tedious, having to sieve the "yoghurt" from the kefir bacteria granules.  Every 24hrs.  This has been superseded by the Mercedes of Yoghurts:  Caspian Sea Yoghurt.  Like kefir, it takes a while to grow accustomed to the taste.  Kefir is sour.  Caspian Sea Yoghurt is silky-smooth in texture.  And it is soo much easier to make and use.  A friend gifted us some culture - all it takes is 2 Tbspn of the yoghurt culture, add 1 cup of milk and 24 hours later, you have beautiful silky-smooth yoghurt.  You simply repeat the process, leave 2 Tbspns culture to start the next batch again.  Easy Pleasey!

And on that yoghurt note, we have changed our milk supplier.  We were getting non-organic raw milk from a local dairy.  Round about the same time that Mike decided his conscience was niggling at him to buy raw organic milk, I read in the paper, about our local dairy man being involved in a SPCA court case.  It was alleged he filmed himself shooting a goat mid-air, which his mate threw up into the air!  Sounds weird?  Well,  I thought, if he could do that to a goat, how was he treating his cows?  No thank you!  Mike now buys organic raw milk from a health shop in Tauranga.  What is the world coming to?? I mean, if you have to shoot your goat, why have it tossed into the air as target practice??  Take up clay pigeon shooting instead! No fines or court cases incurred there!  At least we know that we aren't willingly supporting a cruel dairy practitioner.
Stir fry
Caspian Sea Yoghurt - culture left in jar to start next batch
And then there's the other kitchen project I have slowly been chipping away at.  Teaching my daughter how to cook an array of different meals, so that when she leaves home next year, I know she won't starve!  She knows how to make soup, pizza, pasta, a stew, rice, dahl, a curry and a stir-fry.  My thinking is, that if she knows how to make a soup - she can transfer that prior learning to other types of soups or cross transfer that knowledge of one dish to other combinations.  Well, that's the theory anyway.  She could possibly choose to eat instant noodles every day!  But at least I'll know I did my bit for humanity!
Josephine, our scarecrow with a bad-hair day.
I uncorked the last of last summer's ginger beer a couple of nights ago.  Now being that we are tea-totallers, we were, uh, totalled by the ginger beer.  A year on and that natural fermentation was spectacular!  A half glass was all it took to have me giggling and sshlurring my shpeech and Mike plonking himself down on a chair to steady himself!!  My daughter just looked at us and shook her head in disbelief! Its all a bit painful and embarrassing to her.   My ginger beer batches have all been a little suspect!  A bit alcoholic.  Okay, maybe a lot!  Probably a good thing I have just been gifted a clutch of water kefir granules.  Hooray!  So I have just started my new ginger beer fermentation process tonight and look forward to the result.  More on that later, if it works.........  

A little bit of fantasy in the garden...
Let your imagination run wild as you decide on how the
 turret got broken.

Shho long, dearsh!  Who shesh shushtainable living ishn't exshiting?

Thursday, 7 November 2013

My Crazy Valentine

Some sing songs about their loved ones.  "My Boy Lollipop" and such like.  I blog mine.  I know Romance is the flavour of February 14th but why wait?  I wanted to reflect on Sustainable Relationships.  And I wanted to keep it real. Sustainable relationships - how do they look?  Different in each and every one of them!  Ours is about dialogue.  He taught me how to confront issues, I taught him that not every issue needs confronting. He taught me about World Religions and Politics.  I taught him about looking closely at small nature miracles and figuring out how things work. 

My Crazy Valentine.  We argue like cat and dog, play games like cat and mouse, sing songs together like Sonny and Cher and have a love story that spans nearly 3 decades (27 to be precise).  He likes chocolate, I like salty chips.  He likes reading, I like gardening.  He likes driving, I like staying.  He likes adventure, I like backyard stuff.  We're different, but we're same!  We both love saving the earth projects.  We love our home and garden, life and family.  We love music.  Lots of it, and different stuff from World to Rock.  

I do the cooking.  He makes the salad.  We both do dishes.  He turns the compost and mows the lawn.  I sow seeds and tend the seedlings.  He sorts the finances.  I do the fixing.  He plans holidays, I do the packing.

He's the Door to my World
My Own Garden-Hand Stud-Muffin-in-Boots
My Valentine.  When he is away from home, he calls EVERY night to connect.  When we come home, we sit and share a cuppa tea and the day's events.  I know him (sometimes  even better than he knows himself) and he knows me.  I have known him longer than I have not known him (more than half my life).  We discuss everything before we make decisions - not always without heated debate.  We have learned to not go to bed on an argument.  We have learned how to talk and more importantly, how to listen to one another.  We tease one another often and have fun together.  He writes poetry for me on birthdays and Valentine's Days. I have learned how to respond in a similiarly, less eloquent, amateur manner -ala-Dr. Seuss-kinda-kindy-rhyme.

He is the World at my Feet
He uses quiet reasoning in a debate, I swear a lot in the heat of the moment. He apologizes, I do not.  I meant what I said when I said it, 100%!  He won't let go of an idea, like a bulldog with a cat- scented rag in his mouth.  I detach easily.  He panics, I keep calm and reflective.  I'm the yin to his yang.  And vice versa.  He organizes little surprises for me.  A night away.  The pimping of my car.  Thoughtful things.  I do his laundry and create his culinary delights.

Our Pool of Love

He gives me Wings to Fly
We're our greatest critics and supporters.  We level each other like a backhoe and praise one another like a gospel choir. We appreciate what it takes to make a relationship work - HARD FRIGGIN' WORK!!  When asked by our children, how they will know when the "right" one comes along, I pragmatically claim that it is not so much about the "right one" and much more about working it out.   We work hard together.  We each have our own whackiness. When the world sniggers at us, I get him and he gets me.  That's all that counts.  Get it?

Here's a poem he wrote for Valentine's Day, a couple of years ago:

Despite Me
Even though I forget where I put my keys
I know
I can never forget
The wonder
of you.

Even though I am losing my marbles
I know
I can never lose
the fever
When I look at you.

Even though
I drop food on my shirt
I know
You are 
Drop dead gorgeous. 

Even though
I dribble when I play the drums (courtesy of Jamie Oliver)
I know
I still love
To make music
with you.

Even though
I don't make sense sometimes
I know
I still love
to hold you.

Even though
I am me and you are you
I know I love it when you do,
When I hold you and you hold me
Kiss me and love me like you do.

Be Mine.

He's the Water to my Lotus Flower
Here's this birthday one from some ways back:

A Birthday Wish

For the one I love a special wish,
Just turned 40 and, wow, what a dish.
The years roll by like words in a song,
Whilst you remain forever young.
Fly in sumptuous colour, gossamer wing,
When I think of your radiant splendour, it makes me sing.
And when I am in the room with you,
You bring sparkling magic to every view. 
Enjoy the wonderful years that await,
Have a glorious birthday and be my date.

And there is a whole drawer full of such memories.  My wish is that others will reflect on their own Crazy Valentine and cherish the memories you are creating together.  This is what sustains us.  Sustainable Relationships.

He's the Krishna to my Radha
PS.  I okay-ed this with My Valentine, before posting.