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It occurred to me this evening that I MIGHT want to review my definition of ‘easy’, where cooking is concerned.

I made devilled sausages, with spinach served over rice. I considered this a very easy dinner to make.

If I explode the process out, though…

Put rice & water in saucepan, apply heat. (This bit: actually easy by anyone’s standards.) Less straightforward: saucepan is cast iron and holds heat beautifully, making it harder to burn rice.

Heat cast iron pan with butter & olive oil. Yes, both, I like mixing my fats in the cast iron. (Have cast iron pan. Have appropriate heat source for cast iron pan. Know how to clean cast iron pan, rendering it usable in future.)

Chop onion, apply to pan. Remove sausages from freezer (buy sausages, place in freezer…), nuke briefly, chop into half rounds, apply to pan. (Have sharp knife and good chopping boards.)

Apply tomato paste, water, jar of home-made apple sauce (.. yeah, that easy thing?), home made chilli sauce (… again), stock from freezer (…).

Turn to spice rack, add celery seeds, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Previously, have spices organised enough that they actually live in that order in spice rack. Spice rack has ‘herbs’ in top layer, ‘less used herbs’ in bottom layer. Other spice rack has ‘curry’ in top rack, ‘baking’ in bottom rack. There is also a herb drawer. We will not discuss the herb drawer. You could get lost in there and go on adventures.

Simmer until sauce magically occurs. Thicken with potato flakes.

Apply spinach from freezer to pan, simmer until spinach melts.

Serve over the rice, which you have supervised and ensured cooked & not stuck to saucepan.

Dinner took me about 40 minutes in clock time. About, oh, ten minutes of that was active cooking, the rest was dishwashing, stirring, drinking wine and talking crap with Kazz…

Yes, I consider this an easy dinner. But there is a shitload of work, preparation, skill, and I don’t know, How Food And/Or Kitchen Works 101 under the hood there.

Easy for me, but that’s quite a privilege.

Originally published at kiwi geek. You can comment here or there.

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The study has been problematic for a long time. A year or so back, we evicted all the cardboard boxes that used to house parts we no longer own (as my beloved is a member of the school “don’t throw ANYTHING away in case it’s useful”.

Yesterday, he woke up with the LET’S CLEAN THE STUDY bug.

Three trash bags of misc.stuff later…

  • The desks have been emptied, sorted, misc cables rolled up & put away
  • The cable drawers were emptied, misc crap thrown out – why did we still have serial cables? Eight USB/PS-2 adapters? A Playstation->USB adapter for a dance mat I haven’t owned in five years?
  • Cardboard boxes were labelled (ie: headsets/mice, optical media, cable ties & velcro)
  • Old books were thrown away – Windows 2000 / Fedora 4, my old Uni textbooks, etc
  • A new printer was installed, the one with a dead network jack was removed, and the horrible HP that Tobes bought without doing enough research has been disposed of violently
  • Why does the study contain eight laptop bags, none of which we use?

Basically, YOU CAN GET INTO THE CLOSET NOW and access the filing cabinet and cable drawers and ALL THE THINGS and it’s TIDY.

Running total: 200/365

Originally published at kiwi geek. You can comment here or there.

Time out

Feb. 11th, 2015 07:29 am
emsk: (bouncing elephant!)

Just after we got back to work in January, I decided I wanted more time off. I booked the second week of Feb on the basis that I wasn’t on call that week and no-one else was on leave.

As it turns out, that’s the week that Toby started a new contract. Although I have to climb out of bed in the mornings, so that he actually gets OUT THE DOOR in the morning, it means I have had the house to myself ALL WEEK. IT’S SO GOOD.

Foodstravaganza: I have
* made four litres of yogurt, some of which has been turned into labneh or is mid-turning-into-labneh, some of which has been consumed, some of which is in the fridge awaiting consumption. The whey from the labneh is going into bread tomorrow
* turned two chicken carcasses (from the freezer) into about 3l of chicken stock
* crockpot curry (not my best effort, but it was last night’s dinner)
* many chickpeas boiled & popped in the freezer for later meals
* 1kg of rice, boiled & in the freezer for later meals (some of it went to the curry above)
* sushi, both salmon and tuna
* home-made pizzas on puff pastry (ham, spinach, cheese, tomato paste, pesto)

* Exit Mold’ed the shower, cleaned the other shower, cleaned three toilets
* emptied pantry, sorted contents, returned to pantry
* emptied other pantry, sorted contents, returned to pantry (see: hipster shelf! I liked mason jars /before/ they were cool. Technically this was a week ago but IT COUNTS)
* emptied freezer, sorted contents, returned to freezer
* emptied plasticware boxes in pantry, sorted contents, threw away bases and lids that don’t match, returned to pantry
* listed bras for sale on Trademe
* listed nail polish for sale on Trademe

* five hours of dance lessons (privates and workshops)
* not enough piano
* surprisingly no DragonAge (yet), mostly because the weather’s been lovely
* laundry
* arranged for a quote for some guttering that badly needs replaced before winter (ugggghhh)

Oh, and because it counts as decluttering (!!): Running total: 175/365

A productive and enjoyable non-work week.

I liked mason jars before they were cool.

I liked mason jars before they were cool.

Originally published at kiwi geek. You can comment here or there.


Mar. 23rd, 2013 11:24 pm
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Our house has, as residents, three humans and three cats, plus sundry guests. One of these residents is long haired, and the cats are, well, cats.

Vacuuming goes as follows:

- vacuum a couple square metres of carpet with the Vax.

- pop foot/pole off hose, use end of hose to remove my hair and cat fur that’s jamming up the vacuum foot

- use end of hose to do edges/skirting boards

- vacuum another couple square metres of carpet

- pop foot/pole off hose, marvel at size of current hairknotball acquisition

Lather, rinse repeat.

For bonus points, follow up Vax vacuum as above with a few circuits with the Dyson, and marvel further at the astonishing amounts that the Dyson can extract from the carpet even AFTER you swear that the Vax has thoroughly beaten all the dirt out. Hint: you’re wrong.

emsk: (Default)

We’re making progress around the house. Operation 2012: Tidy The Things was generally successful, and Operation 2013: Keep It Up is ongoing. Honestly, ongoing maintenance is the problem T and I have always had. We’re really good at doing Things when they are big enough to be Things. We are not very good at ongoing habits. But… we’re getting there.

A friend who’s handy was kind enough to investigate why the light fixture in our bedroom had died – it turned out to be the dimmer switch. No problem, we didn’t really use it anyway. Now we can fold laundry at night!

I went through my wardrobe again and generated another sackful of clothing I don’t need/don’t wear any more. Then went shopping to replace the things I actually NEEDED – work pants, work-suitable tshirts, shoes. Three hundred bucks later, I had three pairs of pants, a skirt, four shirts, and three pairs of shoes. Great success.

On a related note – why are the racks in the plus size section of Farmers closer together than they are in the rest of the store? This seems somewhat counter intuitive.

I’ve danced a lot less in the last couple of months. No particular reason – enforced break at Christmas, no classes I really felt like taking, my favourite teachers are still overseas, trying to be more sensible with cash… all of the above.

I’ve realised in the last week or two that I really NEED that time. As much as I’m an introvert, I need the people time. I need the energy, I need the exercise, I need the motivation and exhilaration I get from the challenge of dancing. I’m still teaching at the bar on Thursdays, which is good for me, but I need more than one night out.

So I’ve joined another performance course. Intermediate level this time; performing in Congress in Wellington in June. For which I won free accommodation, which is a nice boost to the budget.

Two and a half years I’ve been dancing. Who’d've thought I’d come this far?

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Our house has become quite musical lately. I’ve been making more of an effort with the piano, in between dance and my other commitments.

Then Tobermory, about six months? or a year? ago, discovered that a game called Rocksmith was due for release. It’s an Xbox/PS3/PC game; you plug in a real guitar (like, an actual electric guitar) to your console, tune it all up, and then the game teaches you to play guitar. It’s seriously FANTASTIC. Tobes played guitar, quite seriously, until he had a bad wrist injury a few years ago; and as with all these things, if you don’t practice you lose the skill.

So, Tobes got Rocksmith for his birthday, as it was released at roughly birthday-time. All three of us have been playing – Thaqui learned a little guitar in the past, as did I, and we’ve been variously cursing at it / each other as we slowly learn the basics.

Tobermory probably has the best approach – he’s actually practicing and repeating things, where Thaqui and I are happily bowling through the game without really refining our skills first. Hey ho!

Then Thaqui discovered a PC game called Synthesia, which teaches you to play piano. He also learned a little piano, so he went out and bought a fairly cheap 49-key USB keyboard for use with said game.

I’m really, really impressed. I’ve been playing piano since I was three, and started lessons when I was five; the game is very, very well designed. And if he does get bored with the constraints of the 49-key, there is most conveniently a full size piano sitting in the living room.

It’s nice living in a household that appreciates music. Not just listening to other people’s, but caring about creating it too.

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The last couple of weekends have involved a lot of organising. Saturday last weekend, T and I moved ALL the living room furniture and vacuumed, steamcleaned the carpet, dusted, moved everything back… admittedly I still haven’t quite finished rummaging and organising the pile of junk that this created, but at least it’s all in one pile now.

Today, I evicted the entire contents of both pantries. No, the kitchen’s not enormous or anything, but there’s two cupboards which, together, serve the general purpose of “pantry”. Having spread the contents all over the kitchen table, they needed to be reorganised and stashed back in place.

I’m ashamed to say that I found things in the cabinets that I’d actually forgotten we owned. The culprits have been stashed in a cardboard box, listed on Freecycle, and will theoretically be collected tomorrow. I took a trip to purchase some plastic crates, as well – so things are collated in boxes with other things of a similar nature. In theory, I will be able to find things now.

I also went through the first aid box, which lives in said pantry. There was a remarkable amount of expired medication, which has been appropriately disposed of. Everything remaining has been tidied into a new plastic crate, one that has a handle and a lid for easy transportation e.g. to the bathroom. I’m not sure why we have six boxes of various bandaids, but there you go.

I’m still not very good at dealing with the odds and sods that result from tidying sessions like this. But I’m getting better, gradually. And it is nice living in a more organised home. I can find things!

Originally published at spinneretta

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Periodically I get the desire to organise things. Usually, this comes at the expense of other chores, mopping, vacuuming, etc.

I bought my husband the steam cleaner that he’s been begging for hopefully for the last, oh, year. He has been gleefully cleaning All The Things, including an EPIC clean of the kitchen floor today. And I finally decided I was sick and tired of the messy insides of the pantry, and have thus done some of the necessary organising.

For a start, most of the baking goods are now in mason jars. With chalkboard labels. In my defense, I liked these things anyway, and the current trends towards them just makes it easier for me to find the pretty things.

Cough. Anyway.

Second, the shelf we keep glasses on is really too tall. And we have too many mugs and glasses for the space. Lots of wasted vertical space. But people seem to think that those poxy wireframed ‘shelves’ are an acceptable solution.

Not in my house.

Instead, a plank plus four bed legs is now serving the function of an add-in shelf in the pantry now. Even if it did take me three trips to hardware stores to actually find four legs that MATCHED.

My inner organising fairy is pleased with the results.

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I love my husband. He brings joy to my life in so many ways.

I asked him, today, to shake baking soda over the carpet in the living room, as it needed a really good vacuum and I wanted a bit of a de-smell as well.

Apparently there was some confusion over the correct substance, because when I got home, he was carefully vacuuming the cornflour out…

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Some of the 34 boxes that shipped over from the UK contained my Ikea Expedit, Expedit-desk and Expedit-addins. I have wanted one of these for YEARS and I am really rather happy to finally have one.

The how-I-have-one possibly requires more explanation. When we visited the UK last December, Tobermory rather unwisely introduced me to IKEA. It was Christmas, after all, and the family were shipping stuff over from the UK, after all, so… if we asked nicely, and paid some of the shipping, and it was Christmas… please?

Of course he said yes. And my in-laws graciously included the IKEA in the shipping of Tobermory’s other things, without charging me extra. That was nice!

So, the boxes got home just before I went to visit Nay, then I went to Congress. Two weeks spent looking longingly at IKEA boxes.

The day after Congress, I built the bookcase; which, as predicted, involved a certain amount of swearing, bashing-it-with-a-hammer, and finally giving in and begging Thaqui for help because I was both too short and too weak to get the bookcase from horizontal to vertical by myself. I’ve spent a few hours after work and most of yesterday getting it all loaded up and banishing the old furniture from the snug.

The snug is now tidy, has a 2 seater couch and an armchair, and all my craft stuff is a) accessible b) tidy. The desk is protected with a piece of perspex custom-cut by some dude off Trademe, so that I can e.g. get paint on it and not fret that I’ve damaged my desk forever.

I’ve had great fun organising it. Figuring out what addins to put where. Reorganising the various shelves and boxes I already had. Realising I had an entire drawer full of ribbon, because I inexplicably love wrapping gifts so much that I have enough of a stash to last me for the next six Christmases. Discovering my sewing machine fit perfectly into a cubby, and stashing it promptly out the way. Putting a cushion in one of the shelves for my Tigra. Stashing little yellow highlights here and there, because I still love having yellow and grey throughout the snug. Labelling my fabric scissors so that no-one else uses them. Moving the wrapping paper out of the blanket box that holds my fabric stash.

The next Project on the list? Patchwork upholstery. The chair and couch are in here now, easily accessible; all I have to do is get started.


… sometimes I worry about myself. When did I turn into an adult?


May. 22nd, 2012 02:32 pm
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Sometime this week, 34 assorted boxes of Stuff land from the UK. It’s the last bits of Tobermory’s personal possessions; plus an Ikea bookshelf and assorted gubbins, a Christmas present for me.

This will, of course, cause problems of the storage variety. Some of them will be solved fairly readily (via the construction of said Ikea bookshelf and it’s use in my craft room). Some of them will take longer, and require systematic reorganisation of the house.

I figure we might be done by Christmas. 2015.

Still, Operation 2012 continues as best we can. The craft room has been reorganised a couple of times (pending addition of epic bookshelf). Tobermory spontaneously suggested repainting, lying in bed a few nights ago. Partly in a “let’s make this house OURS, dammit” vein, partly in a “the wallpaper in the bedroom is horrible” vein… I don’t really care why, I’m just thrilled he’s finally decided that we need to repaint! I’ve been wanting to repaint since we moved in. Although, admittedly, I’ve only really had ideas about what to paint the place in the last year or so (and we’re on year four in the house now).

Four years. How did that happen?

I have other plans afoot. I’ve had an itch for months to recover a chair or something for said craft room. Having seen patchwork chairs on the internets, that idea took root. I finally found a chair in the style I wanted on TradeMe – and very sadly, it came with a two seater couch. All for $50! The material cost – I’m doing this properly, I’ve bought upholstery-weight fabric for parts of it, and the patchwork will be interfaced and stitched onto upholstery-weight calico for strength – is somewhat more extensive. But still, $300 for a two seater couch and armchair that I really love – at least, love in the abstract so far – is nothing to sneeze at.

The couch has the feline seal of approval. Tigra has adopted it as Hers, and is found there every night at present. Sweet little cat.

I don’t get to start on my project for a few weeks, though. I’m visiting Nay next weekend; then after that, going down to Wellington for the Salsa Congress. I am both nervous and excited by this prospect. Still, it’s all booked and paid for, I have clothes and shoes and makeup… all I have to do is get on the plane and convince myself to have fun.

Easy, right…?

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I started salsa again last night. It was SO GOOD to be back. I haven’t forgotten everything – teacher danced with me a couple of times, and I was able to follow without too many hiccups – and I was easily able to keep up with the class. Didn’t even get too exhausted, although I was sweating like a pig.

Zouk hasn’t started yet, but I’m really looking forward to it. And the dance studio is running a weekend bellydance class (a one-off), which I’m pondering. Why not, right?

AND, when I got home, I didn’t snack. Well, other than a slice of salami, but that doesn’t count. Particularly as my Tigracat nicked half.

I loved coming home this time. in 2010, we were cold-shouldered on our return home. This time, I went outside and called my girl, about half an hour after we pulled up the driveway. There was a frantic meow meow meow meow meow! from the neighbours’ section, followed by the appearance of my kitten running indoors as fast as she could. Tobes intercepted her – she’d come in the front door, couldn’t find me immediately and had a panic, while I was around the back of the house – and carried her to the living room, where I was coming in the sliding door. She flung herself out of his arms and into mine. She was so pleased to see me. Apparently she spent a lot of the time we were overseas out and about – she’s been quite a homebody since I came back. She sits in the snug with me and cuddles – usually on the back of the couch behind me. Then when she falls asleep and falls off the couch, I get the blame. Silly kitten.

Boomer rocked up from his feline adventures a few hours later. I heard crunching noises in the kitchen (of the nom nom kibble variety), stuck my head in the door, and was greeted with a very pleased chirrup. Picked him up for a cuddle, took him to the study, where he leapt out of my arms and into Tobermory’s. He was so happy to see his human.

Candy – yes, we’ve kept Candy, and thanks to a month’s worth of feline Prozac, interfeline relations are at a surprisingly reasonable level* – was pleased to see us, but she doesn’t have the same loyalty to Her Person that the other two do. She’s a sweet cat, and I love her, but… yeah, I have a favourite cat, and it’s not Little Miss Shouty. She’s got a lovely little affectionate purr, and she’s playful and cuddly, but… she’s just not My Girl.

We do still try to keep her in the bedroom at night, so that Boo and Tigra get some peace. She’s stopped picking fights the same way, but there are still some periods of friction. However, she’s learned how to open the door. Yes, we can latch it, but… well, last night went as follows:

Doomph jangle kick kick thud, wiggle bang.

Doomph jangle kick kick thud, wiggle bang.

Doomph jangle kick kick thud, wiggle bang.


Doomph jangle kick kick thud, wiggle bang.

Doomph jangle kick kick thud, wiggle bang.

“Shall we give up and open it for her?”

Doomph jangle kick kick thud, wiggle bang.


We’ll see how it goes…

Operation 2012 status: I cleaned out the upstairs freezer. Tobermory’s been telling me for ages that a) I’ve been blocking the air vents b) it’s not draining properly, because of the aforementioned blocked vents. Eventually, the fridge started growing snow, and I finally got sick of it Wednesday night. Emptied, wiped down, bowl of warm water to wipe the ice off with, butter knife for obstreperous chunks. Didn’t take all that long. Mystery food disposed of (trash day), freezer re stacked with due care for the vents, and it’s stopped making the “help me, I can’t freeze properly” noises.

* the other night, I found Tigra and Candy ON THE SAME COUCH. Sharing it! Both asleep!


Jan. 6th, 2012 02:22 pm
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Operation 2012: Clean All The Things progresses. Today, there was a Reckoning with the bathroom.

Right about the point that I was literally dripping with sweat, vanity doors open, with a bathroom that stunk of Exit Mould and looked like Lush threw up in it, I regretted the undertaking. But, with the shower scrubbed down, and I even went to toothbrush lengths to extract the mold from the three piece sliding door thing the shower cubicle has – and let me tell you, that thing is a bitch to clean – and the vanity reorganised and the Lush corralled into containers… yeah, it was worth it.

As a sidenote, why does my husband need three sets of clipper guides for the Remington clippers? He can’t need all of them, surely? They have been tidied into the nominated drawer, I wouldn’t dispose of any without his consultation, but… why? And no, this is not a criticism, given that I have 3/4 of the space in the vanity devoted to Lush products, it’s just that I’m puzzled.

My usual shower-cleaning methodology is a little unorthodox, I’ll admit. Generally I entirely disrobe, as I clean the shower, then once it’s clean, put my stinky self in the shower and enjoy being the first person to use the lovely clean bathroom. I did deviate from this norm today, figuring that bleach wasn’t the best thing to accidentally get on my person. Jif* is no problem, bleach, I’ll pass.

You can just picture it, can’t you?

The other problematic surface I’ve been wanting to attack lately was the dresser in the bedroom. Tobermory and I both use it as a dumping ground, which is a habit I’ve been trying to stop, but is rather hard to stop when it’s already covered in crap. So, trash has been thrown away, I’ve tidied up all my jewellery, even to the extent of organising my earrings, the bag of Lush that came back from the UK with me was removed to the bathroom vanity**, the makeup bag was emptied and put away…

I’d quite like to be a housewife. Maybe not forever, but for a few months. When I’m at work/commuting 55 hours a week, the housework rather loses it’s appeal; when I’m at home and have the time to spend, I’m happy to do it. I mean, I wouldn’t exactly say I like housework, but I do like the simple appeal of making my home nicer to live in.

* No, you lot, not peanut butter, household cleaner.

** Admittedly with some swearing, because I had to find room for it, which eventually meant reverting to some small stacking containers, and really I need to use some of this and not buy more. for, like, a year.

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Somehow “plug in small fan in snug” turned into Operation CLEAN ALL THE THINGS (Snug Edition). The snug is (mildly) rearranged, the TV/Wii/DVD player (which turns out to be dead) are all reconnected (which is how I know the DVD player is dead), the floor got vacuumed (not that you can tell), the fan is plugged in, I have unearthed four new bottles of deodorant (I have no idea either)….

It’s only 12:30. I have generated half a sack of trash (seriously, Tobermory and I have apparently lived in a disgusting fashion for the last year [none of it is food trash, just junk {which only makes it marginally better}]). Onwards and upwards?

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I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions. Instead, I tend to enact them on my birthday, as a date of personal significance that I might actually pay attention to. This is how I started dancing, as a birthday present / promise to myself. That worked well.

This year might just be a little different. I’ve come home from the UK, and having had a break away from home, I’m suddenly fired up with motivation (and more importantly ideas) to get the house Sorted Out. For example, I have realised that the problem in my laundry room is that half the shelves in the closet should be removed. That will allow me to hide the ironing board, mops, etc, and allow access to the boiler. I don’t need all the shelves for the sheets and things, and the spare blankets can go in the closet above the other boiler, where Tobermory has been suggesting I put them for the entirety of the three years we’ve lived here. It is a convenient location for the toilet paper, true, but it would be more useful as a blanket cupboard.

I also went to IKEA, while in the UK, and had some furniture shipped to my inlaws. They’re shipping a load of T’s stuff out to us, and my lovely mother-in-law was happy for me to piggy-back on the crates they’ll be shipping out.

My general plan is to organise one thing a week; that way I might actually stick to Plan 2012: Tidy The Bloody House without getting overwhelmed or bored. There’s crates full of crap in the spare room; when we start feeling guilty about the mess in the house, we’ve been ‘tidying’ by way of piling the mess in a crate and hiding it, which really isn’t the kind of plan that lends itself to the long-term. T & I plan to reorganise one of these crates a week. Most of it can probably be thrown away. At some point, we’ll get to the stage where we can get into the cupboard in the office, and once the cupboard in said office is accessible, we can start putting the piles of paper that float all over the house into the filing cabinet that is presently inaccessible, partly because of the aforementioned piles.

You can see that we have work to do, but we’ll get there if we take it slowly and don’t try and do everything at once. That just leads to getting overwhelmed, giving up, and hiding it all in the closets. Again.

Today, I have cleared one of the sets of drawers in my craft room, and reorganised my shoe cupboard. (Yes, I have an entire cupboard set aside for my shoes, and my car is occasionally referred to as the shoe store by Colitis.)

I have, so far, generated one sack full of trash. I’ve been home two days.

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So, on Saturday night, I decided that the knife belonged in my index finger more than in the butter. We had McCrack for dinner as a result, and Tobermory trotted off to urgent care with me to get it bandaged. The offending knife, which turned out to have had a chip in it (ceramic) has been disposed of.

So, I spent the rest of the long weekend not doing anything particularly requiring dexterity or dirt, and mostly tidying my craft room. Amongst other things, repurposing this knife block (with the aid of the drill) for my paintbrushes. It makes me happy.

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Tobermory struggles to sleep in a light room. And our bedroom, being on the light side of the house, is quite light at night. A french door plus a window about the same size will do that for you, particularly when you take street lights and so on into account.

The solution up until now has been a sleep mask, of course. But I took a couple of days off work as a happy-birthday-to-me (I am now 28, hooray?), and took the opportunity to poke about the local emporium. Fabric ends from manufacturers, crafty stuff, Misc Mistake Colour Paint, and similar sorts of things. Anyway, they had a bolt of blackout fabric – there was 6m left on the roll, the roll itself was a 3m drop, and I got the whole thing for eighty bucks!

Last night was our first night with both new blackout curtains hung.

“‘s nice not to have to wear the mask. Unless I want to be Robin and solve crimes in bed.”

Originally published at spinneretta.com

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Signs this is a geeky household: birthday present = RAM and large HD for laptop, and pair of Sennheiser earbuds.

Signs this is an anachronistic household: I made kiwifruit chilli sauce, tamarillo toffee sauce, banana nut sauce, and spiced orange sauce this week. (And have four in a parcel to go down to Mum’s tomorrow.)

Signs this is winter: Tigra is sneezing. And she is ridiculously funny, because it’s “chuu!chuu!chuu!chuu!chuu!chuu!” sneezies, but still. Vet appointment required, poor wee sausage will not love me at all.

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I’m looking down the home straight of going back to work, now. I’ve had a lovely holiday, I don’t really want to go back to the grind.

But, the last day will be a good one. I am going on a road trip to my hometown, with Kat. I’ll duck in and visit Mum, and we have plans to visit one of the tourist spots, and probably go swimming – what with six hours in the car, getting into togs and into the water Sounds Like A Plan. Plus I will be picking up a chair I acquired via TradeMe, trying to avoid speeding tickets, and generally going “whee, last day of holidays, Make It A Good One”.

I’ve had a good break. A nice mix of productive things and faffing about being lazy. The days around Christmas and New Year, I conscientiously sat on my bottom and ate as much as I felt like, interspersed with occasional amounts of cooking and tidying up the absolute minimum (ie, plates, trash). I did extend myself to the efforts of making some food, though – a roast chicken for Xmas dinner, a ham for New Year’s Day.

When Tobes had to go back to work, I did too. Around the house. I got the snug craft room – known for the last six months as “that room with all the stuff piled on the couch and no visible carpet” – tidied up, with the aid of some new storage and a bit of judicious recycling of empty cardboard boxes. I belatedly finished a couple of Christmas presents, having discovered enough desk space to be able to work. The spare bedroom is now actually usable as a bedroom again, and I even found a couple of headboards on Freecycle for the bed. I finally turfed out three trash bags full of unneeded clothes (also via Freecycle). I painted various external bits of the house that needed painting. I washed apparently endless amounts of laundry. I arranged the car’s registrations and warrants. I took down and washed and hung curtains, took down and replaced venetian blinds. Little housewifely busy bee.

I quite enjoy being a housewife. I kind of wish that we could afford for me to be a housewife. It’s not feasible, obviously, but it would be nice. The cats have enjoyed having me around – especially once the snug was tidy again and they could reclaim their perching places in there. And I get a lot done. The house gets tidier, laundry is all completed. I sort of ran out of oomph after wrenching my knee up a ladder, but that’s life.

I like my home, I like my home life. Plus, it’s summer, and being solar powered, I am happy.

Originally published at spinneretta.com
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Dec. 24th, 2010 10:46 pm
emsk: (Default)

I don’t really have any Christmas traditions – growing up in a family that didn’t celebrate it isn’t really conducive to having them! And Tobermory’s traditions revolve around, well, being in the Northern Hemisphere, for a start, with the attendant snow and ability to eat yourself into a stupor without boiling to death, plus his family gets together and does The Family Christmas Thing.

They have a twelve foot tree this year.

Tobes and I haven’t really had any traditions of our own. This year I got a real tree, mostly because he asked.

Now, it’s Christmas Eve. The presents (such as they are, as we’re having a cheap year – house repairs this year have been Expensive) are all wrapped. The lights on the tree are on. I have LED tealight candles on the staircase. His stocking, the one his mother embroidered for him while pregnant, is hung. The fridges are somewhat excessively full of food, an issue I plan to resolve in the next few days (along with some careful stashing of the inevitable leftovers in the chest freezer).

We had steak and salad for dinner – we’ve done this fairly consistently for the last few years. Why not, it’s summer, right?

And now we’re all ensconced on the couch, with various drinks and snacks, watching the Sky adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather. I am warm, well fed, very happy and content, and snuggling with my husband.

This is a tradition that I can get behind.

Originally published at spinneretta.com
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emsk: (Default)

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