Preparing our home for an new additional family member after 8 years of just the two of us has been all about finding new homes for things around the house. I thought I’d share with you what I have discovered…
1. Purging. Man, the stuff I have thrown out recently! Everything from table linen, appliances, old ring binders (why did we feel the need to have 12 empty ring binders in the cupboard?), books, and clothes to acrylic knitting yarn and plastic knitting needles (why did I need 4 sets of 4mm plastic needles when I hate knitting with them?). Anything in good condition has gradually been taken to the Salvation Army, the Church of Christ “Big A Boutique” or Vinnies. Lots of stuff has just gone in the bin. The world is a lighter and less stressful place when we are less encumbered by stuff. One also fits into one’s house a little more easily!
2. Squeezing. I have one thing to say about this: buy some of the vacuum pack bags from K-mart or wherever, put stuff in them, vacuum the air out, store them in a box under your bed. It’s amazing how much stuff can shrink when there is no air in it. My wedding dress and the clothes I’m not currently wearing are now freeze-dried-biscuit type things, protected from dust and moths.
3. Going up. Wall space in our house has been much under-utilised in our house. We now have a fancy Ikea bathroom cupboard that is 6 feet tall instead of a small 2 feet tall one. It takes up the same amount of floor space but now I actually have EMPTY space in a cupboard even though I have put all the towels in it. (Given time I think we’ll fill it easily with baby paraphenalia). We are about to take the same tack in the kitchen and are on the lookout for a large tall dresser.
4. Cleaning and tidying. I find that a clean tidy house feels bigger than an untidy house. I know I can keep it clean and tidy before the baby comes but after? who knows.
After believing that 2 adults and a baby (and one day another baby maybe) couldn’t fit comfortably into a 2 bedroom house, I’m starting to feel like we can.
EASY BACON AND LENTIL SOUP
I know that the weather is warming up but Matthew still likes soup for lunch. I guess working in an air conditioned office means soup can be eaten almost all year round. I’m making this soup this morning to be stored in small containers in the freezer. It’s one I threw together one day and liked so I wrote down what I did and have now made it lots of times. If you are reading this in the Northern Hemisphere this is a good winter soup you might like to make as the weather cools down.
You’ll need: 2 onions, 2 carrots, 2 stalks celery, 3 cloves garlic, olive oil, 1 cup red lentils, 4 cups water, 2 vegetable stock cubes, 1 can crushed tomatoes (about 410g), 150g bacon pieces (good quality please), thyme sprigs
Finely and neatly chop the onion, carrots and celery and crush the garlic. Gently sautee these with a pinch of salt in a slurp of olive oil for about 10 minutes. Add all the other ingredients and simmer until the lentils and vegetables are soft, between 30 and 45 minutes. Add more water if you think it’s too thick and stir regularly so it doesn’t stick. (You can leave the thyme sprigs whole. The leaves will fall off during cooking then you can remove the stalks before serving.) Serve with bread or toast or allow to cool and freeze for later. Serves 4-6.
IN THE GARDEN
Everything is growing well at the moment. The tomatoes seem to grow a few centimetres every day. A couple of them have flowers already. There are apricots and peaches forming on the trees and a few beans have popped up. Matthew has been preparing a bed for the pumpkins. The roses are covered in flowers. The garden would look perfect except for the grass which is drying out and turning yellow but there is no way we’ll waste precious water on the lawn!
IN OTHER NEWS
On the 29th November there will be a street market on Goodwood Road between the library and the primary school. A couple of friends of mine are having a stall and I’ll be there for a little while too with some hand dyed yarn. It’s usually and excellent market and you should be able to find some Christmas gifts or at least something yummy to eat.
MAY YOU LIVE IN INTERESTING TIMES
This is a Chinese blessing, though I’ve also heard that it’s a curse, that I’ve been pondering lately. We do seem to live in interesting times what with the financial crisis, the first black President, climate change and the huge changes the internet has brought to everyday life. As a lover of history and the way it affects our lives now I’m enjoying watching these interesting times and I hope I live a good long time so I can see how lives are affected in the future by what is happening now. I love watching election coverage on the TV. I’ll happily watch Australian election stuff for hours. I watched about 3 hours of the US election coverage on the ABC yesterday. It’s really going to annoy my kids in future!
Have an excellent week and enjoy the interesting times we all live in! Sarah.