Watering the grass…

First off, I am not dead. Since I have not blogged in over 3 months this may surprise you. However you will be pleased (I hope!) to know that I have not died. I have merely been bogged down under great busy-ness with finishing my course, moving, unpacking, holidays, spring cleaning, and other housewifely things. (I do realise of course that it is not spring. But we have a house inspection coming up and a thorough clean was necessary. And since ‘summer cleaning’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it, spring cleaning it is!)

I shall bestow all the details upon you in another post. But since it is Valentine’s Day after all, I want to write about love.

Love can be hard to explain, though many people have tried. One soul in two bodies. Trust. What makes two people sit in the middle of a bench when there is plenty of room at both ends. Sex. Friendship on fire. Forgiveness. When another person’s happiness is more important than your own.

But my favourite description of love is God’s. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.Love never fails.

What a beautiful way to describe it. But every time I read that I get the distinct impression that I have failed. I know that it is only failure if you don’t get up and try again, but still. It feels like it. But then I read that last sentence. Love never fails.

Never, adverb. At no time in the past or future; not ever; not at all.

That means its just never going to happen. True love just will not ever fail. When it makes a mistake, when it loses patience, or envies, or gets angry, love doesn’t stop being love. It just gets up and tries again. And it will never stop doing that. Love doesn’t let you just wake up one day and say ‘You know what, yesterday we failed too many times, let’s just get divorced.’ Or stop loving. Or stop trying. Nope. It never fails, remember? It always tries again.

I read somewhere once about thinking that someone else’s situation is better than yours. They were discussing the dangers of thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Other people’s lives may look better or easier. Your friend’s marriage may seem like less work or more like what you think you want. Another friend may seem to love better – never falling, never making mistakes. But do you know what? The article I was reading pointed out that both sides of the fence are exactly the same – the truth is simply that the grass is greener where you water it. The people with the easier lives – they are just watering the grass. The friend with the perfect marriage is simply watering the grass. The friend that seems to love perfectly – she makes mistakes alright, but she just keeps on watering that grass.

Love may be hard to understand sometimes. It may get bumpy along the way and some days someone else’s grass may look greener. So what are you going to do about it?

You know what I think? I’m gonna need to go buy a hose. And maybe a sprinkler. A good, drenchy kind of one. Because today and every day, I choose to water this grass!


The night before the great move…

Mum and I are currently sitting on mattresses on the floor. My husband drove off about 10 hours ago with most of our belongings. Unfortunately someone had to stay behind to clean the house ready for the final inspection tomorrow morning.

So here we sit. On the floor. In an empty house.

Have I mentioned I hate empty houses? No? Well, I hate empty houses. They sound hollow. And they just feel wrong. I also hate sleeping on the floor. And without my husband. So far tonight isn’t going well for me!

But I have been blessed.

The truck hire company ran out of the smaller truck that we booked. Which meant we got a larger truck for the same price, and were able to fit everything in without stressing or cramming.

My husband and one of his friends managed to load said truck in 3 hours. And nothing got damaged. Yet.

The house is almost clean and there are only a couple of things left to go in the cars in the morning.

And we are going home. Tomorrow. Leaving our first home together and starting on a new journey.

Can’t wait to see where this road leads.

The joys of moving…

I am currently staring at a pile of boxes. Boxes that are surrounded by stuff. Stuff that is supposed to be IN the boxes.

Don’t judge – at least I have removed the stuff from the cupboards and placed it next to the boxes! And I’ll pack it after I’m done blogging, I promise. (It is also possible that I may accidentally drop half of it on the floor so it breaks and won’t require packing.)

Anyway, in the middle of all this packing I came to a conclusion. Packing is overrated. Brilliant I know. And do you know what else I discovered? There is nothing one can do about it! Believe me, I tried.

My first plan of attack was to ignore it in the hopes that it would go away. It didn’t. It is still there. So I went for the ‘try to get someone else to pack it’ option. That worked slightly better than ignoring it. But only slightly.

I then tried a third option. The one where you DON’T TRY not to break things (as opposed to TRYING not to break them) – because you know, good wives don’t break things on purpose. Just by accident. Recurring accidents. The kind where ALL the glassware accidentally breaks into a million pieces and can’t be fixed. I must have done something wrong because nothing broke! Not a single thing!

After that I gave up in despair and accepted my fate. I must pack. So I have hauled boxes and bags and wrapped and folded and finally it is mostly done. Except of course for the pile that is still sitting in front of me. Which brings me to another conclusion – when God said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply’, my stuff definitely got the memo!

It really is amazing how much one can acquire in under 10 months of marriage! It is also amazing how much it costs to transport it all!

But despite all the packing, I am thrilled to be moving! Home is where the heart is, and since my heart has been torn between two places for the past 10 months it will be good to finally have it all in one place! It will be sad to leave behind our first home together, but we have been blessed with a lovely little house to replace it. (At least I think it will be lovely! Having only seen one picture of it, I can only hope that my mother still tells the truth!)

Speaking of mother, that reminds me – she arrives in less than 3 hours! The ‘try to get someone else to pack’ option may still work!


Strange things part 4 (Where I surprise everyone with my gardening skills!)

There seem to be so many strange things occurring in my house that I have managed to write 3 (nearly 4!) blog posts about them! Oh well, it’s good to have something to laugh at!

Recently I heard a strange noise in my lounge room. It sounded like a finch. But I don’t have finches in the lounge room! (At least, not unless our finches figured out how to unlock and open doors and managed to get out of the cage and into the house!) So it couldn’t be a finch. I went investigating. And then it hit me – I had put the budgies in the lounge room. It was one of them masquerading as a finch! So now it gets even more confusing – the finches make finch noises, the husband makes finch noises (he has conversations with the poor finches – they are completely bewildered by it!), and the budgies are learning finch noises! Soon my furniture will start making finch noises and then I’ll know I’m really losing the plot! But until then, I guess I can put up with the weird finch noises in my house!

One night my dear husband arrived at the door to announce that he had a present for me. (Ladies, when your husband makes announcements like this, don’t get your hopes up – a present can mean anything from flowers to dirty socks. And more often than not it’s the socks.) In this case it was dirty socks, shirt, and shorts – all of which were filthy and covered in prickles! It took ages to remove said prickles but I did it. And then I washed it all and relaxed in the delusion that it would not happen again.

Ha! (Sometimes I have completely unrealistic ideas!) Anyway, this time it was a jumper and socks completely covered in prickles and mud with lovely grass seeds embedded in the fabric. I was busy for the next couple of weeks so I sat them in the laundry tub until I got around to it. Every now and then I had time to remove several prickles but I wasn’t making much headway. Then I went away for a week. When I came home they still hadn’t miraculously disappeared. So, several days later (after much unpacking and cleaning and procrastinating) I finally faced the worst. And as I was plucking prickles, I spied two green leaves. Upon closer inspection, I discovered  that a prickle was GROWING in the sock. Literally growing!! Roots and all! I may not be a wonderful wife, but I’m one awesome gardener! (Have YOU ever grown prickles in a laundry tub with no soil or water? See, there you have it – I am talented!) I found one more prickle sprouting in the other sock, but finally managed to get all the prickles out and wash them and rejoice in the beauty of a clean jumper and socks!

It was a little surprising but you know you’re getting something right as a wife when you can laugh with your husband at the horror of prickles growing in his washing!

Kitchen Disasters!

Yesterday I opened my first electricity bill. (Not that I haven’t opened electricity bills before. But this one wasn’t Mum’s. This one was mine. This one had my husband’s name on it. Which means we have to pay it.) And after opening it, I wished I hadn’t. It was terrifying. While the calculations assure me that we are well below the average two-person household’s daily usage, there are a number of strange charges that make it add up to quite a large sum! Someone shoot me now!

Anyway, opening said bill killed my happy mood for the day. So in an effort to cheer myself up, I read a few blogs. One lady mentioned  melting a potholder on a stove. Which reminded me of some of my kitchen disasters. (Apart from the casserole disaster, all of these occurred before I was married. Which means that if my husband doesn’t like my cooking style, he should have thought of that before he married me!)

My first ever kitchen disaster wasn’t so bad. I had been boiling an egg, and when I went to remove the shell it wasn’t quite done. No problem, I thought. Microwaves were invented for a reason. Ha! Don’t ever put a half-boiled egg in the microwave – it explodes! I ended up with egg all over the inside of the microwave. Fun. But I learnt my lesson, and I’ve never tried that again.

The next time I went near a microwave I was attempting to dry herbs. I had a herb garden and a few things like parsley and basil were growing out of control. So I figured that drying the excess would be a wonderful idea. I wasn’t sure on how to do it so I googled it. (Don’t ever listen to Google!) I found a whole ‘how to’ microwave method – quick and easy! Herbs on a sheet of paper towel for 1 minute. Anyone could do that! So I tried it. The first time it worked brilliantly – nicely dried herbies with no effort whatsoever! The second attempt was more disastrous. The paper towel went up in flames, and brilliant me grabbed it out of the microwave and tossed it on the kitchen floor. This burnt a hole into the lino. The herbs were dried alright – dried and burnt to a crisp! After that, I went and bought a food dehydrator.

I have a funny feeling I shouldn’t go anywhere near microwaves. Or fire. Or perhaps eggs, herbs, and casserole.

The Re-make of the Casserole!

Last night I finally worked up enough courage to re-attempt cooking a casserole. (If you recall, back here my last efforts were somewhat explosive!) The whole idea of trying again terrified me. That’s normal…isn’t it? I mean, wouldn’t YOU be terrified of history repeating itself and both casserole and dish blasting to smithereens all over the inside of the oven AGAIN?! Rather unnerving prospect. And so I kept putting it off.

It’s not that I didn’t want to cook. I like cooking…just not casserole! (Well, to be perfectly honest I like cooking casserole too. I just don’t like the explosions!) And I definitely wanted to EAT casserole. I was just terrified. Of what I don’t know. More cleaning perhaps? Or having to buy another casserole dish?

At any rate, I finally got up the courage to try again. I was actually almost as excited as last time I tried this. Except for the terror in the back of my mind. But I soldiered on anyway. Vegies chopped – check. Herbs chopped – check. Different casserole dish (this time a tried and tested one which so far has never exploded!) – check. I put the casserole in the dish and this time, as a precautionary measure, I put the casserole in a cold oven and then turned it on.

I was a little nervous at first and kept listening for an explosion. Fortunately it never came. When the casserole was nearly cooked I cracked a couple of eggs into it and waited for them to cook. And then we had casserole! Edible casserole! Casserole that was not blasted all over the inside of an oven! I was excited. And when my husband gave me a big hug and told me I am a really good cook, well, that kinda made it all worthwhile!

Edible casserole!

Edible casserole!

Here’s the recipe for anyone who is interested!

Casserole          (I had enough to serve 3-4 people)

4 tomatoes

1/2 a small onion (could probably have had a little more)

1 zucchini

1 carrot (next time I think I’ll put 2)

1 can kidney beans

3 stalks of fresh parsley

a couple of leaves each of basil and sage

1 tsp vegetable stock powder

1 tsp salt

Pinch of garlic powder (just couldn’t be bothered chopping fresh!)

About 1 cup of pasta sauce (not really necessary, but I thought it would help with flavour since I didn’t have time to cook it for ages)

3 eggs

Chop all vegies into small squares. Finely chop herbs. Add salt, stock powder, garlic powder, and kidney beans, and mix thoroughly. Pop into casserole dish, add a bit of water, and bake until done at 180 degrees. (Mine took about 90 mins.) Make small indents into casserole and add eggs 5-10 minutes before eating.

Serve on a bed of rice (I used Arborio but any rice could be used), and sprinkle with parmesan cheese to taste! Enjoy!



Also in breaking news, yesterday my blog got it’s first views from Canada! Yay!

The cleaning of the oven!

Last Friday I had no motivation to get out of bed. This is otherwise known as dread of cleaning an oven full of exploded casserole. (You can read that catastrophic story here). So I stayed snuggled in bed for as long as possible. And then I finally got up to face the worst.

The cleaning of the oven. Stupid casserole dish exploding. If only that hadn’t happened, I would never have had to clean the oven. (Alright, maybe I would have sometime. But there wouldn’t have been glass and casserole blasted to smithereens all over it!)

I got myself all organised and went to town to get oven cleaner. Half of them had to stay on for 12 hours or some such ridiculousness – too long! I wanted a clean oven! I wanted it right then! I finally found one that said to leave it on for at least a minute, or up to 4 hours. Perfect! So I bought it and numerous tubs of icecream. This was to help relieve oven-cleaning stress of course.

After several hours and much procrastination, the oven was finally clean. Well, relatively. When I say clean I mean that all the glass and casserole was removed and the oven somewhat cleansed. There is still grime on the oven, but I am pretty sure it is verging on prehistoric and may never come off! Anyway, it is clean enough for now. (Drumroll please!) Time to eat icecream!

While I was in the middle of cleaning and/or procrastinating, a couple of parcels turned up. My early morning online orders when I couldn’t sleep. Both presents for my husband. He has been dying to get golf clubs for some time. He even picked out which ones he wanted. But he decided we probably couldn’t afford them just yet. He has also suggested getting a guitar several times. So I got him both and gave them to him on Friday when he got home. (It’s the first time I’ve managed a surprise this big – usually he guesses or I have to tell him when he goes to buy something I already have for him! So I was rather proud of myself.) He was so excited that he started playing golf in our lounge room then and there! (I was a little concerned for the furniture – and my head!) And over Friday evening and Sabbath we had a great time together with the piano and guitar.

Sunday went by fairly uneventfully, except that we finally managed to clear the garden of weeds. We can now actually see plants!

On Monday I had a minor meltdown. I woke up at some ridiculous hour of the morning with abdominal pain. Consequently, by the time it was actually a reasonable hour to get up I was still dreadfully tired. Somehow I got the washing on the line, wrote a shopping list, and gathered everything for going to town.  When I got there, it started pouring rain. It never rains here. But it was too late to go back and save my washing. After finally getting most things done, I went to one last store. As I was going through the self serve checkout, I paid with my card and decided to get $20 cash out. Halfway home I realised that I had left the cash there! I rang the store and they had a look for me. The money was gone. (Some lucky person is now $20 richer!) I got home and got all my shopping in and then had a meltdown. My washing was soaking wet and I had lost $20 and I was tired and it was all too much.

By the time my husband got home, I had managed to pull it together. My washing was spinning in the machine and dinner was cooking and the shopping was unpacked. I was kind of dreading telling him about the money so I decided to get it out of the way as soon as possible. I nearly cried again telling him. But his response was just, ‘Oh well, its only $20’, followed by a hug.

And he’s right. It is only $20. We will not starve. And who knows, someone else may have needed it more!