Tiny Sparks of Joy

Sunshine on my walk home, and a weekend of good weather to look forward to (apparently).

A clean fridge, empty vegetable drawers and meals all done for the week.

Planning for holidays knowing that in a month we’ll be sitting on our sunny deck in France sipping wine.

Having a safe, beautiful home to live in and the sense of peace and security that brings to us.

Drawers that are empty, and not needing to cram anything into them because we’re almost at exactly the right level of ‘stuff’ in our house.

Tiny Sparks of Joy

Tiny Sparks of Joy

Ever increasing numbers of loaves of Dutch oven bread. Each loaf has been delicious. I’m trying it with spelt flour for tomorrow’s bake.

Plans to meet with friends I haven’t seen for months. It’s always good to catch up and natter about the past, present and future.

Some growing seeds that may help us in the tomato and broccoli department, two things which are difficult to get sans packaging.

Less than a month to go until holidays. Last week’s decluttering means I now have everything required for packing in one place.

Seeing that our favourite theatre is putting on The Great Gatsby, meaning we can have something to look forward to after the post holiday blues strike.

Tiny Sparks of Joy

Thirty Five Is Not Twenty Five (Part II)

As per my previous post, one project on my to-do list was sorting out my photos. I was feeling productive last night as it’s a light week in work so I gathered all the photos from broken frames, various boxes and a couple of bags and started sorting.

It was a lot harder than I expected. I found a lot of photos from college days that I’d tucked away and forgotten about completely. It was difficult looking at my younger, slimmer self. Like the Sunscreen Song told me when I was 18, I was not as fat as I imagined.

Looking at the photos was like looking at a different person, which, in many ways, I was. I am not the person I was when I was 18 and starting college, or the 23 year old I was the day I graduated, or the 25 year old visiting Barcelona, or the 28 year old getting engaged in Sorrento, or the 29 year old getting married and going on honeymoon.

My new year’s resolution was to join and gym and improve my health and, if I’m honest, my self esteem. The photos gave me pause for thought. That skinnier, younger woman wouldn’t have believe the older, softer, rounder (in many more ways than my figure) woman if I told her what paths her life would take her.

That skinnier younger woman hadn’t evolved much in her thinking on abortion rights. She knew little of the eighth amendment. She hadn’t developed the ability to see more of the world in shades of grey rather than in black and white. She didn’t give herself (or many others) much of a break. She was too hard on herself.

The photos have been sorted-ish. I haven’t seen albums I like and I don’t really feel like looking through many of them again so soon. Thirty Five is not Twenty Five, in all sorts of ways.

Thirty Five Is Not Twenty Five (Part II)

Projecting

I have a tidy, mostly clutter free home but I have a few projects I am determined to tackle over the summer.

The first is photos. We have taken more photos in our six years of marriage than my parents have during almost 40 years of marriage. I need to organise them and separate the wheat from the chaff.

I’ve been slowly replacing my beloved paperback Chalet School reprints with original hardbacks. I’m going to sort through the duplicates properly and see what I can sell and donate.

I still have a couple of spots where junk accumulates. These need to go. I’m going to have one small spot where dumping is allowed and that is it.

Projecting

Dutch Oven Bread

I’ve read a few things about baking bread in a Dutch oven AKA a casserole dish. Yesterday, I decided to take the plunge because I had all the ingredients to hand. I followed the instructions (except for using warmer water than I used) and I’m pleasantly surprised by the results. I’m going to mix another batch tonight and vary the recipe slightly.

Bread and salted butter is one of my favourite things to eat. For zero waste purposes, I’ve been buying bread from a local bakery and a bakery I pass on my way to work. It’s an expensive but delicious option. However, for budget purposes I’m going to try bread this way for a couple of weeks and perfect my technique.

I used this recipe and we have this casserole dish in blue, bought about seven years ago. I’m going to reuse the parchment paper I used to line the casserole dish to stop the bread sticking. I’m also going to use warmer water and flatten the dough a little more before baking next time.

Dutch Oven Bread

Tis Grande

I am out of touch with the hit parade these days, unless I make valiant effort to chase up the name and artist when I hear a song I like. So Ariana Grande hasn’t bee on my radar at all. She’s moved me to tears this evening with her bravery and composure. I know I wasn’t as together and strong and focused and amazing when I was 23. Young People These Days can be an example to us all.

Tis Grande