Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Slothful winter pleasures

During the dark of winter I have been slipping into a rhythm of later to bed, later up. Ben Franklin would not approve, but then I am healthy and wealthy enough to be content. The concept of enough needs to be more honoured. As for is not up to me to determine when enough of this desirable quality has been reached. (Yes, I realise that that remark in itself has pretense at wisdom)

Old Dutch has been getting up earlier. By the time I emerge from vivid dreams between 7.30 and 8AM I can hear the coffee grinder going, or the machine making its pruttle pruttle sounds. Time to wake and smell my favourite drug. Fresh coffee is sacred and must not be allowed to wait. Enter my recent slothful habit: instead of getting showered and dressed right away I slip into a robe and head for instant gratifcation. Then I sit around with coffee, muffin, and Facebook on tablet before starting the day for real. 

The robe is a recent acquisition. I used to have a red one, known as the Bear Robe, when we lived in the old log house. Getting up entailed stoking the wood heater. It made sense then, but getting out of it and into clothes could be as hard as getting out of bed. The bulky red fuzzy finally got thrown out and was not replaced. There is much to be said for getting dressed right away. Once we get back into the earlier rhythm that goes with outdoor life that habit shall be resumed. 

Meanwhile I love my fuzzy thriftshop find. Brand new, incredibly soft, my size, 4 bucks. I wonder about it's origin. Was it was a guilt inspired present for a loved one in hospital, who died before she ever used it? Or a Christmas gift for dear old Nana, who thought it was too nice for daily use? And then she died and it was found, untouched, among her possessions. Anyway it is being enjoyed, last but not least by the cat who loves the lap covered with its sumptuousness. Equally delicious fuzzy socks keep feet and lower legs toasty. 

And last but not least, about once a week I treat myself to a leisurely lavender scented bath, in the company of the kobo mini e-reader. Others may need to climb the ice falls of Niagara to feel alive. My thrills are found in the pleasure of small things.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Honour the Sabbath OR ELSE

Sometimes I could kick myself. I do stupid things when I know better. By the way, this post is so boring I will not even announce it on Facebook. It is more by way of my private memory album.

Lack of agility makes kicking impractical so I shall just endeavor to learn from mistake. In general my life philosophy is to gain the greatest amount of wisdom  possible from the smallest amount of pain possible.

Long experience has taught me that I simply do not function unless my week has one day without anything on the schedule. It does not have to be Sunday, it can be any day. But there must be one day that is entirely mine. I may well end up being very productive on that day, but it must be by choice, on the spur of the moment. If I do not schedule that in either my body goes on strike by getting a cold, or I mess up in some other way. There are probably psychological theories on hidden motives, sabotaging inner children or whatever. Maybe I am just spoiled. But the principle holds.

As readers of these blatherings know one of my favourite things to do on a winter day is batch cooking with something interesting to listen to. So I thought I could get away with making promises to do some extra cooking for other parties. There is genuine need for this service and I not mind it or so I thought when I made the promise. But thanks to the acupressure practice sessions I have been busier than usual lately. Instead of impulse day Sunday has been cooking day and I effed up royally, twice now. 

Last week I overcooked the batch of lasagna I made for the other party while I was working on one for us. I just did not check on it in time, duh. This week I let about six quarts of precious turkey neck stock, all sieved and ready and delicious, sit on the stove overnight instead of putting it outside in the cold. It took me all day to admit that yes, it had gone sour. I didn't think it would spoil that fast but it did. Old Dutch keeps the house much warmer than it used to be. At least I had one quart left in the freezer for the promised mushroom soup. But drat it, that is fifteen bucks and at least an hour of my time gone down the drain and I am mad. Food waste normally does not happen in my household!

Mushroom soup always takes me longer than I think it will. Today's other project was spanakopitas but I am running out of steam. Cooking should be done with patience, joy and full attention. I think I will stop for the day. Borscht and pizza from the freezer for dinner tonight.