Tiny Sparks of Joy

Eating pears from the tree in our front garden. We had no idea it was a pear tree, that it would grow edible pears and that they’d be so delicious.

Passing pears on to a friend in work. Always good to share one’s bounty.

The good kind of hangover from the march for choice last Saturday. A hangover of excitement, inspiration and hope.

An unexpectedly lighter than expected work week, along with getting paid this week.

The details we do know from the Mueller investigation. Aristotle still right after all these years: “The law is reason free from passion…Man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all.”

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Tiny Sparks of Joy

Anticipation

We have another evening at Heron and Grey to look forward to. I enjoyed it so much the last time I’m almost afraid it won’t live up to expectations this time.

We started watching Mad Men, having finished The Handmaid’s Tale. I can’t believe I didn’t watch it when it was a current drama. It’s reached a really good bit and I can’t wait to see more.

The Mueller investigation is heating up. My subscription to The New York Times is worth every penny. I cannot wait to see how this mess of a presidency ends. I really hope the plot twist involves Mr. Tangerine Man getting shuffled out of office before he kills us all.

Anticipation

Being Prepared

Today was my first day back at work after almost a month. I’m also setting myself a little challenge of bringing my lunch to work every day and only drinking my own coffee there too for this month. I was really looking forward to that coffee during my commute, only to find I had finished the last bag before I left in July and I didn’t have a back up. Thankfully, work today wasn’t too taxing and I made it through the day sans caffeine. I’ve already stashed a packet of coffee in my work bag for tomorrow. Coffee is an essential for me, and being a bit more prepared changes a day from being merely tolerable to good or even excellent.

Being Prepared

Tiny Sparks of Joy

The Vermeer exhibit and seeing just how amazing art can be in sculptural form.

Hot weather for two days, resulting in BBQs, meals out, coffees under our browning lilac tree and general good form.

Fishing tops out of a bag destined to the recycling bin and deciding they need to be back in rotation as part of my no clothes buying until further notice decision.

Geraniums I had written off but replanted in the hope they’d surprise me blooming into life.

Looking forward to a hot shower at the end of a hot day. Bliss.

Tiny Sparks of Joy

More Adventures In Zero Waste

I ordered a box of vegetables and a large fruit bag from a farm delivery service. I’ve ordered before and to be quite honest I have never been 100% happy with the price and quantity, but I have given it a chance because the food is organic, comes with minimal packaging that can be returned and often throws up unusual options I can’t get unwrapped in local shops.

This week, I felt a little ripped off with the fruit. It is nice fruit, but it is expensive. Like, really expensive – I could have bought twice the amount if I had decided non-organic and packaged food was perfectly fine. It’s hard to reconcile spending so much on so little, when there are other alternatives.

Today I went to Lidl and Aldi for the first time in a long time – I had time on my hands so this was a good use of it. I got organic milk and meat (in packaging which may or may not be recyclable, I need to check). I got a lot of (non-organic) fruit and some minimally wrapped vegetables. I bit the bullet and stocked up on some plastic packed pulses and nuts because, to be honest, the prices were very low compared to other options. And I stocked up on organic porridge oats in paper wrapping and passata in glass jars.

I unpacked everything and pondered on my purchases. It is really hard to actively choose to spend more money to buy anything loose when the quality is comparable. I like to support small businesses and organic farming and sustainability. However, the costs are something that’s certainly got to be factored in. I want to spend less, save more, and achieve financial security in the least amount of time possible. I want to be a good citizen and a responsible consumer.

It shouldn’t be one or the other. It’s really annoying when you’re left to choose between the organic fruit and vegetables wrapped in plastic and the ‘normal’ stuff that’s not creating waste in my bin. I have to wonder why the organic bananas need to be wrapped in plastic but the ‘normal’ ones don’t.

It is really frustrating to be weighing up the relative merits of every choice. I know it is an absolute privilege to have the time and head space to do so, and I am thankful every day for being lucky enough to be able to make these choices.

More Adventures In Zero Waste

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