Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

This is my 1st Weekly Photo Challenge post, and I was quite happy to see that the topic is Change, because that is exactly what I have been slapped with, in the face, stomach and ass, repeatedly, for the last 2 years.

Here’s a clue as to some of the change I have been experiencing:

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I have swopped shopping centers and heels for beach sand and bare feet, indoor fluorescent lighting for sunshine, a pale complexion for a tanned one and blow waved hair for ocean-breeze dried hair (filled with sand and sea salts).

Gym sessions were replaced by surf sessions. (Thank efff for that. I can’t begin to explain how far surfing beats gym’s ass when it comes to actually enjoying yourself.)

Partying until 3am has been replaced by good food and wine, getting into bed at a decent hour and then getting up early the next day to catch the waves at their best (and no, this doesn’t mean that we are like old, sad people now. It is awesome).

I have gone from living in jeans and going to the beach in sweatpants, to living in shorts, and braving bikinis. Feeling good in your own skin (well, basically not giving a shit about what others think) is so fantastically liberating.

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Where toasting a piece of bread used to pretty much cover my food-making skills, I’ve heard that I can now dish up a meal worthy of Master Chef status. Yes, I might’ve just done a little air punch there. Also, cooking is fun. Who would’ve known??

The number one change? Being in a healthy and happy relationship and getting married to my soulmate (our one month anniversary is coming up in 3 days hehe). Now, I’m going to skip the part where I go on about how amazing he is and where you end up gagging, because I have obviously already done quite a few posts about him.
So I guess that’s all folks. Change can be very sweet. All in all, everything has turned out darn good. Except for the mosquitos. Them bitches have decided to start chomping me now. After leaving me in peace for the first 27 years of my life. Bastards.

Spinach and Ricotta Dumplings, post diet yummmm

Although I have been pigging out like a hell since after our wedding (it’s kind of a must while on honeymoon), here is the first anti- and post-diet meal I have made myself. I must mention that it tastes ridiculously awesome and that’s why it was worth a blog post (well, it has to be special since I haven’t posted anything in about 3 decades!)

So, it’s officially called Spinach and Ricotta dumplings, but my version is Spinach and Chives-flavoured Cottage Cheese Dumplings. Spar had about 6 million different cheeses in stock, but didn’t have any Ricotta (surprize surprize!). Luckily it didn’t end up as a complete hell of a mess, but decided to taste awesome instead. Here it is, it makes about one big plate full of golf ball sized dumplings (the recipe says it serves 4 but in my house it’ll probably only serve 2):

– Note, they also say it takes 20 minutes to make, which is also a lie, especially for someone with my limited cooking skills!

* 200g spinach, blanched and then chopped (yes, please note that you have to blanch the leaves, something I managed to pull off only because of Google)
* 1cup of Ricotta OR cottage cheese
* 90 g of grated parmesan
* 1 garlic clove, grated
* 2 t of chopped chives (OR just buy the cottage cheese with chives)
* 2 free-range eggs
* 60 g of flour
* half a teaspoon of salt
* 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
* fried bacon bits to serve (cut into small cubes before frying, the more the better)
* fried mushrooms, to serve (I also cut them into smallish bits)
* parsley, to garnish

1. Combine the blanched spinach, ricotta, parmesan, garlic, chives and eggs in a mixing bowl. Then add the flour and salt and mix well until well combined. Shape the mixture into golf ball sized dumplings and chill in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Poach (thanks again Google) the dumplings in simmering salted water for 3 minutes. They should float before the time is up. Remove using a slotted spoon.
3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the dumpling until golden brown. This took about 3 minutes as well. Serve with the bacon bits and mushrooms, garnished with parsley. I added a pinch if salt and sprinkled some extra parmesan over it all, yummy!
Do it, it’s worth the effort!

Image from the recipe book

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My dumplings. The chicken was on a bed of onion, brinjals, mushroom and garlic.

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Why kitties and kindness should go together

I actually wrote this post about a week ago. I wrote it ‘in the moment’ and when I read it the next day I thought that it’s way too soppy to post on my blog. But now I’ve decided screw it, it goes on afterall.

The other night, I witnessed (yet again) one of the small (but numerous) reasons why my future husband is “my pot se deksel”, a Force to be reckoned with, my Ultimate Catch, the One that Got Away (if you were freakin silly enough to ever let him go), or just plainly put, effing awesome. We had just come back from sushi with friends and our kitties had had about 3 hours to chill and fill their tummies with their brimming food bowls (which, of course, they didn’t do). Now, we were crap tired. Exhausted actually. I think I almost fell asleep and did a ragdoll roll down the stairs halfway to our bedroom (yes, we get tired just from having sushi with friends – we’re old like that -which I don’t mind at all by the way). So just as we get home and want to sleepwalk to bed, they decide that no, now is not bed time, NOW we want to eat. And take our time at it. Of course I was like “No way, bed is the only place I want to be right about now.”
So Andrew sits on his haunches next to their food bowl and watches them eat. For at least 5 minutes.
Them taking their sweet time, him waiting patiently.
And that patience with animals. When I’m sure all he wanted to do at that stage was to grab them by their tails and get to bed (like me. They sleep with us at night by the way).
I tell you, melting inside is what I felt. Seriously, how many guys would be that patient with animals (with ‘no one’ watching)? I wonder, and I conclude that this must be pretty rareish. Maybe I’m weird to think that this type of thing is rare, or even awesome. But to me, the way that a man treats animals, says a whole lot about that man’s personality and temperament and even how he would treat others, and you (especially when no one is watching). Like they always say, it’s the small things hey 😉

The Timekeeper

The TimekeeperYes, you guessed it, The Timekeeper is about Father Time himself. This book is wholesome but simple, just like the title itself, which makes it an easy read but by no means boring or for the numb-minded. I would say in this case less is definitely more. Now I am a few million lightyears away fom being a “book critic”, so here are a few excerpts from the book that will give you an idea of not only the story, but of the moral of it, and how hearty the words taste in your mouth and mind.

“Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays.

Man alone measure time.
Man alone chimes the hour.
And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures.
A fear of time running out.”

“This is a story about the meaning of time and it begins long ago, at the dawn of man’s history, with a barefoot boy running up a hillside. Ahead of him is a barefoot girl. He is trying to catch her. This is often the way it is between girls and boys.
For these two, it is the way it will always be.”

“A man sits alone in a cave. His hair is long. His beard reaches his knees. He holds his chin in the cup of his hands.
He closes his eyes.
He is listening to something. Voices. Endless voices. They rise from a pool in the corner of the cave.
They are the voices of people on Earth.
They want one thing only.
Time.

This man is Father Time.
Soon he will be free. To return to Earth.
And finish what he started.”

Well, that’s it in a infinitely small nutshell. It’s beautiful and it makes you think. It leaves you with a feeling of content in the end, when everything comes together perfectly. You know, like the feeling of content you get when a braai is lit at the end of a long, humid, pool side summers day.
Anyway, albeit unrealistic, there’s a whole lot of story to this book, but the message that it conveys is something that I think many people could do with learning. Give it a read. It’s only 222 pages afterall.