Sunlight in the kitchen

Yesterday she decided to make the most of the sad-looking vegetables laying in her fridge.  To her surprise, the chicory survived the neglect fairly well, so LB was having one of his favorites for dinner. Just like his mom, he loves loves loves vegetables and up til now she had’nt been able to find something that he didn’t like. Except for couscous maybe. But then again, little boys can grow really old without couscous, so maybe later. Or not. On his menu: potato, chicory and salmon.
The mushy tomatoes were turned into a soup. It tasted rather bland so she had to add some herbs after all. And the parsnip that had gone all wrinkly made another soup with the rest of the chicory. She liked the flavor and also froze an adult portion.

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She loved it when the sun dripped on her working surface in the kitchen. At night it was rather dark to work in, she really had to put up another light source instead of working with the light behind her. But during the day it was lovely and sunny and with a view on the garden and it made her happy. On days like these she could be cooking all day, making dishes for all the people she loved.

She actually had fantasized about that before. She often took leftovers to school, and colleagues were always drooling over what she had made, even if it was really simple. She knew some colleagues who hated to cook. How wonderful would it be if she could just make extra portions and sell those? But then again, two or three extra portions, that’s one thing, but triple the amounts, that was a whole different style of cooking.

So she would stick to her daily pleasures in the kitchen. Focusing on quick meals on those long days, and working ahead and trying new things on days like these. She could do some baking today, but then again… that sunlight was just too lovely to ignore!

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And outside they went. Life can be good…

Full fridge and then life happens…

She hadn’t actually planned to start a blog and then forget about it altogether, but last week had been horrible. Some stomach bug kept attacking her and her family and every time she thought it was finally over, there was another episode lurking around the corner.
The whole mess had resulted in a fridge full of produce that hadn’t been used. Making decent meals had not been an option, as they all were fairly content with some toast, yoghurt and chicken soup. She felt very sorry throwing most of it out, but sometimes life just happens. She could start over. She would.

Little boy was cute as always, and while happily filling his nappies to the brim, he played with his toys and his little friends at daycare. She had noticed him standing alone, without support, more often and the caregivers also had seen him making two little steps towards a very interesting toy. Once he would overcome the fear of falling and stop focussing on the process, he would run around like only little boys can. She looked forward to it, and her heart sang when she saw him play, running behind his little stroller, laughing out loud and taking the curves like he had never been doing differently (yet he only learned last week how to turn his stroller – no more frustration of not being able to go where he wanted!)

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She enjoyed this so much. And she knew her decision was taken. If the possibilities were there and they could work towards it as a family, she would try to work less outside of the home, to free up peace of mind and the time to enjoy those moments to the fullest. Making less hours at school didn’t necessarily mean she would be able to spend more time in her house, but it most definitely meant that time would be completely hers and that of her family. It was all she wished for.

For the love of bacon…

She had been glad to come home after a rough day at school. Rather late, because she spent a full hour talking with colleagues, desperately needing to vent. The idea was to make fresh soup, but she didn’t feel like it. Luckily there was some in the freezer. Not homemade but it would do. Soup and bread, and she would bake the rest of the bacon to keep the husband happy. Apparently bacon can solve anything. Even the lack of ‘real food’ (soup could be lunch, not a proper meal, according to the husband). She didn’t like bacon, but if that would prevent any comments on her laziness today, she was prepared to love bacon. So, for now, she loved bacon.

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She had planned to read a bit in a lovely book she bought with a gift voucher. It was al about changing attitude to help save the planet. It was well written, quite funny and plain honest. She loved it. More than half of the ideas weren’t exactly possible in her life, but the cover stated that every reader was tempted to try at least five things mentioned in the book. Well, the cover was absolutely right. She liked it when a promise was held.  A pity though that her new-found love for bacon wasn’t actually according to the book. Bummer…

Making a difference

The morning didn’t run as smoothly as she would have wished, but in the end, she got her husband out of bed in time and little boy happily waiting in his relax  for his dad to be ready. Her husband would take him to daycare each morning, because she wanted to leave early for school. It was the only way she could get some work done there, which meant less work at home in the evening. Not bad as a concept. But her husband definitely was not a morning person. Getting out of bed for him was hard. Every time. He would clean the whole house in the morning if needed, but mornings? Not his cup of tea. So she made sure everything was ready before she left.

On her desk at school was a little bag of boys clothes waiting. One of her colleagues and a dear friend, also the godmother of their child, had gone through her stash to find something that could complete the wardrobe of the little boy. She had added a new T-shirt too, adorable and just the right size. What a way to start the day!
Teaching went okay, although she had asked herself repeatedly what age-group she was teaching again. She felt like those young people were actually getting ‘dumber’. By dumber she meant: just reproducing anything they ever heard as ‘knowledge’, without investigation or the slightest nuance.

On her way home, she ran some errands. After loading the cardboard box, she was not very happy with herself. Some junk, blueberries imported from Chili, crayfish meat from China, readymade gnocchi. Not very sustainable altogether. It was a good thing to go to the market for local veggies, but when she would complete it every time with a trip to the supermarket and get such things, she was not making a lot of progress. Oh well. She remembered herself to take baby steps. First goal was to reduce the amount of food that was going to waste in her home. She was doing a good job on that matter. Secondly: buy veggies from the market and meat from the butcher and reduce the amounts used. Not bad either. The rest would follow later on, she told herself.

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When she came home, she had found in her mailbox a folder of a very intolerant political party. The language and images used freaked her out. It seemed so obvious what they were trying to do, yet she could imagine people think they were very convincing.
It made what she did for a living important.

She had to keep that in mind, that she actually could make a difference. She hopes she does.

A plan and a dream

As the sun flowed through the windows, she decided to move from the rather dark sofa area to the dining table. The way the sunlight fell on it and on the freshly bought white tulips, made her accept the fact that she had school work to complete. This morning, she had fought a
panic attack by ignoring the pile of papers to correct and going to the market. It was a good thing to have the fridge full with freshness. Way too many apples though, she would have to make compote later this week.

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She had declined the invitation to go eat french fries with her family-in-law, as she did every two weeks. Today she encouraged her husband to go alone and take their little boy with him, so she could work for a while. She had worked, not nearly enough, but she had made a start. Starting can be difficult. She tried to find comfort in the decision she had made last week. When the little boy would start school, a year and a half from now, she would take the four month parental leave. That idea had calmed her down somewhat. It had been the first time she actually had asked herself if it was really worth it. She had always liked teaching, but lately, she lacked the enthusiasm to go for it. Not good. Maybe it was just the rather warm but ever so grey winter that made her feel that way. Or the workload her husband experienced. It almost seemed like the more he had to work, the more she wanted to slow down, maybe to balance it out for the little boy. Who would tell.

For now she had a plan and a dream. And a blog to record her journey towards making it come true. Not all starts have to be difficult…