a wolf in sheep’s clothing

In this trousseau one will find some mentions of clothes …

I’m not a fashionista. For some hidden and other open-and-shut reasons, clothing and I never mixed or matched. Look-alike-each-other-sisters’ dresses, black with yellow and white stripes tracksuits, the yellow bloomer I refused to wear for PE classes, and an always too tight skirt for church embody some early life buried-alive memories.

With an odd-lot wardrobe and a disinterest in clothes, girlhood and I survived. But, yesteryear bethinkings reveal frayed remnants … remnants of repressed desires – mothballed and packed away in dark corners. And during a flurry of growing-up years and a slowness of living life years a scapegoat for these out-of-the-way desires arose.

I am grateful…

… Once I had a friend, a colleague. I remember a visit. She made tea and told me that the teabag has been used seven times. She believed, no, lived the re-using idea: how many cups of tea she could make using one teabag. The tea was terribly weak, but I remained good-mannered…

I’m not pointing fingers. The seven times used tea bag taught me – about being frugal, about value, about the effort to afford the (metaphorical) teabag, about all processes happening so that I can enjoy a cup of (even weak) tea.

And today, here I am   … fifty plus, frumpish and fitted … I thought clothes and I did not mix and match, but we have a bond. The repressed desire took another form – that of consciousness. A need more than a want motivates me when I’m thinking clothing. This desire has a name today – capsule wardrobes, zero waste wardrobes, minimalist wardrobes, unfancy wardrobes … today I am in (un)fashion.

I have not reached the above 50 wardrobe essentials yet; but I love it when a plan comes together…

Dear reader, do you have a bond with your wardrobe?

the (not so) simple life

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a simple home-made cheese – paneer

 

Could we be more careful and aware of the world and ourselves, we would without a doubt find that we live in a holy environment, and that the meaning of our lives can be found and experienced exactly where we are.

~ Gunilla Norris

Living simply – a tag for a few scroll-down writings. A simple tag nagging jumbled thoughts to take a (not so) simple stance.

My father’s father was a subsistence farmer; his livelihood – growing food for the family; his lifestyle – simple, limited, and wanting(?) His living happened not by choice and not by a love for farming; but it happened by need and by a great suffering. His life happened because of a great love for his family.

Today, some of me, or is it all of me? needs his simple, limited and wanting-needs lifestyle. Today, self-sufficiency – a word describing his life, sets a world-wide trend. And today, for me, to just think about new ways of living is not enough. I must want. I must love. I must choose. I choose to live myself into new ways of thinking.

The tagging is easy, the living is not.

 

don’t judge a book by its cover

Muesli and I have a long-time relationship…it started when I met my husband : A muesli-filled container on a shelf in a small kitchen. A friend waiting for its owner to disappear down the corridor.  Her hand opening the container….gobbling up morsels of muesli … she did confess –  some time later.

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I loved “budgie seeds” – as we use to call muesli or any healthy foodstuffs – way back in the eighties. I still love muesli. Home made muesli. Many recipes I’ve experimented with are quite similar. But, again and again,  the tried-and-true recipes of Bill Granger and Gordon Ramsay await me. Delish!

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A dash of cinnamon, a few glugs of maple syrup – I have to include Jude Blereau’s recipe. Then do not forget, the original muesli recipe – Bircher’s muesli. I’ll leave this investigation up to you.

Is muesli one of your favorites too?

Mosterd na die maal…

…literally translates as mustard after the meal. The expression means to come up with a solution too late…almost a reflection of my eleventh hour blog posts …

I am a science teacher by profession – by profession only: I was a disaster in the lab.  Many a singed eyebrow, over(ly) charged Van de Graaff generators, a classroom filled with strange gases portrayed many classes – to the delight of the students: I had to send them out so that I could clean up my mess. Today the kitchen is my lab – and my family the poor students…and I continue to clean up my mess.

But, today’s post is not about failed experiments. It’s about successful kitchen endeavors that complement some of the previous posts on zero waste: Making your own mustard.

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To not re-invent the wheel, I’ll link the two recipes I’ve been using. I’d say that the recipe from Zero Waste Home (scroll down the page) is milder than the one made by David Lebovitz. We enjoy both, and the recipes aren’t messy to make either – an added bonus!

Please share some of your favorite mustard recipes.

From rags to rugs

 

Writer George Kneller said, Creativity consists largely of rearranging what we know in order to find out what we do not know. Hence, to think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted.

One room in our house, south-facing and ice-cold in winter, needs a rug. Some might ask why not go out and buy one? Well, at this moment in time, let’s say necessity is the mother of invention. Nevertheless, I rearranged what I knew and found out that amongst a variety of techniques, one can crochet a rug with rags. I’m trying my hand at this. I will never take a rug for granted. I must say at some stage (after unravelling a fairly big first, second? attempt) I was tempted to go to the nearest thrift store and buy a rug.  It is remarkable how hard it is to sit down and trust one’s creativity: comparing, judging, needing affirmation that it looks (better than) okay. It is not finished yet, but and I’ve once again realised the joy that lies in creating, in being creative.