Resolutions,Envy and Distractions

Now that 2019 is well underway – gosh – February already – it will be Christmas soon!

(I really didn’t say that – one thing on your New Year Resolutions list of things to do this year, is to buy or make one gift a month!)

At the beginning of the year I traveled by train to Ballina on the north coast of New South Wales in Australia, (an 8 hour trip), to see my daughter.

I had plenty of time to think, without too many distractions. I was luck to have a seat to myself on the train, both up and back three days later! I spent the time organizing my resolutions for the coming year – things to do and books to write.

Fortunately, the list is long, and the motivation to rule out the jobs when they are done is enough to keep me going.

Motivation is a problem for many people, and I understand. There are some days that I really feel like staring into space, envying all my friends for their achievements, but not willing to do anything myself.

It is a trap we all fall into! But once you actually make yourself do something towards your goals, you actually feel better! Funny how that works!

However, please accept, that some days it is alright to relax, re-charge- and sleep if necessary. Factor it into your resolutions – one day a week for yourself – relaxation, meditation or just simply – doing nothing. It is good for the soul!

What resolutions did you make for this year?

Have you been distracted yet – or have you managed to start?

If you have begun your list, and actually crossed a couple off, I envy you.

To help you in your motivation – follow these steps:-

  1. Make a plan/list.
  2. Get up!
  3. Start!
  4. If the list feels overwhelming, start with the simplest tasks first.
  5. Each day allow one hour to do something on your list – even if you don’t finish – it is progress.
  6. Repeat.

Well, that’s all from me this month.

For all those in the Northern hemisphere who are snowed in – I hope it gets warmer. For all those waiting desperately for rain in Australia – let’s hope it arrives gently on your doorstep. For all those in Townsville, Queensland, having to cope with the mess of floods, I hope you can cope, and for all those in Tasmania beset by fires, I hope a deluge occurs to quench the flames.

Life and nature are harsh and difficult at times, but there is beauty and happiness, too – remember that.

With Kindness

Maureen

P.S. Remember to have a look at readeatdream.net/sweetfields-products-and-mykelcee-designs for some artwork to buy.

readeatdream.net/free-childrens-picture-book has a new story to read as well. Enjoy.

Return, Everyday and Drudgery.

Don’t believe the title!

Sure, I have returned from my holiday with my daughter, when I went fishing, shopping and eating in a nice, if noisy, restaurant. (not worth the price of the meal, I might add.)

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, sitting, ocean, sky, mountain, outdoor and nature

Yes- that’s me! Out on the boat catching the most fish that day.

Yes, I have returned to the everyday chores of my home life after the silly season. (I’m sure we all gave a collected sigh of relief for another year!)

But DRUDGERY? No way!

If life came down to a dull, painful monotonous day, would it be worth living?

Now, I know many people, as they age, can not do too much, due to health problems. but I decided many years ago, to not give in to aging. I saw my grandmother go downhill rapidly when she decided she was ‘old’ and therefore couldn’t do anything. She gave up knitting, sewing, gardening and reading. All these things had been her normal life, but as soon as she gave them up, she became a shell of her former self.

Not for me!!

The old saying – ‘to grow old gracefully’ should be changed to – ‘to grow old DISgracefully’ That is my idea to make sure I keep young. The more interests and the busier you are, the better for the body and the mind. I ‘do’ even if I don’t feel like it – once my day becomes active (either with the body or the mind) I feel better immediately.

I knit, crochet, garden, write and read. I socialize, I market on the computer and I publish other people’s books. I teach piano and violin and keep bees, cows and chickens.

meandbees

Only two hives, but they keep me well supplied with honey. I’m giving a workshop here for Landcare, about keeping bees.

I cook – making sure I get whole, fresh produce every meal.

I make my own mayonnaise, peanut butter, muesli (granola) with my own home-grown fruit, dehydrated in my own dehydrator and more. I endeavour to cook a variety of food, so that my body gets a load of different vitamins and nutrients every day.

Here is a typical weekly menu – but, remember, it changes every week.

Monday: Breakfast :- 1 egg on a slice of multi-grain toasted bread. Lunch: – salad wrap, with lettuce/tomato/cucumber/ mayo/ ham and pickled onion (my bit of fermented food)) in a Quinoa wrap. Dinner:- Sweet and sour Pork with rice (include capsicum/onion/pineapple/broccoli and carrot in the stir fry). for my homemade s/s sauce see recipe later)

Tuesday:- Breakfast:- 1 cup granola with 1 cup milk ( and a touch of sugar – optional). Lunch:- 2 egg mushroom omelet. Dinner:- Crumbed chicken thigh or breast and vegetables – generally carrot, peas and potatoes.

Wednesday:- Breakfast:- 1 weetbix with 1/2 sliced banana (or diced strawberries, blueberries) with 1 cup milk. Lunch:- Tuna and avocado with mayo and corn sandwich. Dinner:- Spaghetti Bolognaise.

Thursday:- Breakfast: 1 cup of yoghurt with diced fresh fruit and a sprinkle of granola to add texture. Lunch:- Bubble and squeak ( leftover potato from previous night with onion and cabbage.) Dinner:- Satay chicken stir fry with vegetables and rice.

Friday:- Breakfast:- 1 egg, (scrambled). Lunch:- Caesar Salad. Dinner:- Macaroni cheese with mixed vegetables on the side.

You get the idea!

I was thinking of putting out a cook book called ‘For one and only” as most cookbooks are for a family, and as I live alone, not really relevant for me. 

What do you think?

Oh – and here’s the sweet and sour sauce recipe:-

Sweet and Sour Sauce:

1 cup Pineapple juice (with water)

2 tblspns cornflour

¼ cup vinegar

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tblspns soy sauce

2-3 tblspns tomato sauce

1 cup chopped onions

1 ¼ cup of pineapple pieces

2-3 drops of red food colouring (optional)

other chopped vegetables as desired. (carrot, cabbage, broccoli etc.)

  1. Blend cornflour, pineapple juice and vinegar in a saucepan.
  2. Soak onion in red colouring for a few minutes.
  3. Add everything to saucepan except pineapple pieces.
  4. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Serve with rice. Serves 4. 
  5. Veg can be par cooked if desired.
  6. I bottle extra and keep in fridge for a little while – using the next week with a different meat – pork, or chicken or diced lamb – it can also be used with just vegetables for vegetarians)

P.S. Don’t forget to have a quick look at my second and third page. There is a new story  (The Killing) up to read on page 2 ( readeatdream.net/free-childrens-picture-book ) and some art for sale – will be doing some T-shirts soon) ( readeatdream.net/sweetfields-products-and-mykelcee-designs )

slower

 

 

Rivers, Essentials and Detergent.

Warning – I’m on my soapbox! (Note the recipe at the end!)

soap

One of the hot topics at present is the way the human race is polluting the planet. In Australia we have a program called ‘War on Waste’ which is, hopefully, waking up an apathetic population. ( http://www.abc.net.au/tv/programs/war-on-waste )

Waste not only destroys our immediate surrounds, but affects so much more. The consumer mentality means we buy, buy, buy – and often for no more than to meet a greed not a need. The more we buy, not only is there more waste, but great swathes of land are cleared to make way for more product – whether it is a fad – like palm oil or some latest gadget – or a luxury, like toys that are bigger and better than the next door neighbours. This includes TVs, cars and jewelry, as well as children’s toys that are played with once until boredom sets in and we have to buy more, more, more. And yet in the poorer countries, even the essentials are hard to come by.

Have you ever watched a child play with a cardboard box, a wooden spoon and a great imagination? Basics can be better than all the luxuries in the world.garbage

I’m not asking that people go without, but to be more mindful of what they own, want and buy.

When plastics are finally outlawed, we will hopefully go back to more sustainable ways of wrapping food and products.

A lot of the rubbish ends up in pristine waterways (affecting the wildlife), rivers (affecting the eco-system) and oceans (affecting the fish and sea creatures.) I’m wondering if we will ever learn.

The destruction of the planet means the ultimate destruction of ourselves.

Let’s go back to having only the essentials – a home with fresh food in the cupboards, a couple of art works for aesthetics, and a few books for education. Clothes that are made by the industry of our own hands and tools that are used over and over, not thrown away after one use.

The problem with all that, is it is too much work for most people – much easier to go to the shop and buy goods that are laced with chemicals to give them more shelf life, or electronic games to keep ourselves amused.

Growing your own food seems to have lost its popularity, preserving the harvest is tied up with too much legislation, and making your own clothes is now frowned upon as unfashionable.

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Some of my gardening guides (for a temperate zone) that can give you the knowledge to start a garden.

zuc

We need to go back to basics. Do you agree?

Here is a simple and more healthy way of making a detergent to wash your clothes – it is cheap and easy to make, and gentle on your clothes and the environment.

clothesHOME MADE Washing Detergent.

Water, 1 grated cake of pure soap ( in Australia we have Sunlight brand) 1 cup of powdered washing soda, some eucalyptus oil or similar (for fragrance).

In a special large saucepan used only for this job, place 2 litres of water. Add the grated soap, and heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until it is dissolved. Bring to the boil. Add the cup of washing soda, stirring to dissolve. Be careful – it bubbles up.

Now tip this into a 20 litre container. Add hot water to half way, then about 5 litres of cold water to make approximately 15 or more litres of detergent. Stir in your fragrance oil. Allow to cool. Use two scoops per wash.

It will separate out into a solid sludge and water, but it is all useful. In your scoop make sure there is some solid soap as well as the water. This costs me about $2 per bucketful, and lasts about 3 months.

I love the challenge of making products to eat, use or wear, as well as budgeting – getting more for the few dollars I have, as I am on a pension. I find I can still have a good qualiity of life, and I eat healthy food. The other benefit? Because I’m always busy, I am never bored and I stay fit.

What more could you really want?

With Kindness

Maureen

P.S.  Don’t forget to have a wander through the second ( readeatdream.net/sweetfields-products-and-mykelcee-designs )  and third pages ( readeatdream.net/free-childrens-picture-book )to learn more about me and mine.panda2

FLOW

Rocks, Echinacea and Disease.

Over the last weeks, we have all been on the edge of our seats as the boys in Thailand were trapped, then rescued from their prison beneath the earth.  It must have been terrifying for them all, in the dark and not knowing when or if they would ever be rescued. The wonder of a cave expedition would have lost its shine very quickly.cave

But, you know, that is what life is like. We all seem to be fumbling around in the dark, hoping we won’t hit the rocks and obstacles of depression, tragedy, violence, stress and disease. We all hope for the light at the end of the tunnel, looking for love and meaning in our lives, for happiness and success.

Remember though, never give up hope. Life can be wonderful, whatever the circumstances. Fight on – like those young boys, keeping each other lifted up with warmth and kindness. Be the coach, with your kindness to others, and your never ending gift of hope.

I commend all the rescuers and their dedication – it is wonderful what can be achieved with the will to help, and the strength of working together towards a common goal. It gives me hope for the human race when I see the energy of our psyches working together with love to better the world, and it certainly bettered the life of a team of boys and all their loved ones.

My condolences go out to the Navy Seal’s family, who lost a brave soul, and to the diver daisiesfrom Australia who put the boys lives first before his own family’s tragedy.

 

With that being said, my blogs are always based on the three words of my title – R.E.D.  today the Echinacea word has been left as a symbol of the effect of love over the cold of the caves that the boys experienced.

Let’s hope their lives will be lived out with happiness and gratitude for the beauties this earth gives every day.

With kindness

Maureen

P.S.Be sure to check out my second and third pages – free books and art to buy. Keep smiling – life can always get better.