Farewell October, see you next year!

Thanks so much for all the readers this month, keeping up with a daily barrage of articles, as I tried to do what’s become an annual Blogamonth in October.

Here are a few links I have read just today that stuck with me after.

PS: A lot of these are NY Times Articles and you may or may not have exceeded your monthly (free) limit.

Enjoy!!

Two chicken dishes from this month

As I now live with a meat eater, I occasionally, all the time :) , have to make meat dishes and these are two that wowed this month.

Chicken Cacciatore served with rice and a tomato/ onion salsa

Oven BBQ Chicken with mashed potatoes and vegetables

Enjoy!

I wanna be friends with this little girl in the centre

little girl centre

Source

She seems so confident, so unique and happy in her skin. Like how we all are as kids and then we grow up and find out that there are no quick guide books on how to do life and all things grown up. A couple of friends and I were speaking about this yesterday and we all lamented the fact that we are almost 30 years and still trying to figure stuff out and no one had any firm or definite answers on life. Urggh! How did the other grown ups looks so well put together?

Podcast: Ann Patchet on marriage and relationships

Ann Patchett is an award-winning novelist and memoirist. Her other books include Truth & Beauty, The Magician's Assistant and Run.

Despite doing pre-marital counselling, I love how Ann Patchet speaks of marriage, the very commitment and what it means to her. Please listen here. Below are some of the salient points from the podcast.

  • How much love her husband had for her following their marriage compared to when they were dating (for 11 years). I did not cohabit and so I cannot compare, but I firmly believe this to be true because being married does change things and opens you up to a vulnerable and committed love.
  • She also speaks of the different expectations or roles that a girlfriend has versus a wife. This had quite the impact on her decision to remarry when her partner fell ill and she knew that she could only deal with it or support him as wife.
  • On joining their accounts and what it signaled for their relationship. Couples deal differently with finances and there is no unique solution, only that both parties should feel comfortable and secure in their decision.
  • Getting married for the right reason. This matters because it led her to marry the first guy at 24 despite misgivings and then at 41, she was willing married to get married for other reasons altogether. All it says to me, there isn’t a single reason for or against, but a conscious decision to act or not.
  • She talks about how motherhood and how she always knew that she didn’t want to be one. This, despite the fact that society tried to attach different meanings to her decisions like loving to walk around with a puppy. I love the analogy she gives of being sent to an empty drawer to look for something time and again and each time coming back to say that she had not found anything. She expresses it more profoundly and I loved that as I had never heard it that way before.

Let me know what you think because right about now, I feel like going out and getting her book.

My new recipe love

C360_2014-09-24-14-21-48-579Buy. Read blog.

I will be sampling a few recipes from this book and talking about them here. Can’t wait!!

Choosing, choice, freedom, boundaries and all that jazz

Please read this, kind of long-ish post about choice and how cultures around the worl make decisions and then watch the talks below.

In response, this made me think of how I grew up with a very small sphere within which I could choose things because a lot of the boundaries were determined for me and all that was left for me was to choose within those limits. As an example, I had to study for two hours during the holidy afternoons between 2 and 4 rather than play with my friends outside, what I could choose though is whether to study Maths or English. My sisters and I had to pick one evening of the week to cook because my mom would not be cooking for us all anymore (she had the weekend to do that) so whatever day I selected, it had to be done.

I think about this particularly around parenting and how children today get involved in so many decisions and how it would be so much easier if the bigger-ish decisions were made for them and they were given a small sphere to operate within and as they grew up, reduce the bounds of decision and allow them the freedom to make their own decisions and serve more as an advisor or a sounding board. Too idealist, maybe so I shall see once I am a mom.

Links from this week

As you have your breaky/tea/ lunch break, please enjoy stuff that I have read this week that I liked.

 

Some more design porn :)

I recently discovered this blog that posts a pic a day of the most beautiful homes. Seeing as I have recently moved and creating a home, these are some of the things I have been drooling about recently.

Love this little dining space

A moment for the colour of the wall!! Also love the table and the coffee tables.

Maybe just one of these at the foot of our bed

I like the imagery of the mismatched dinning chairs

Table for two? With the beautiful lighting fixture

Just the arrangement of this loft! The windows, the couches, the dining table. Just. ALL. Of. It

Now to pray for money to buy beautiful furnishings for our place!

The four hundred and sixty eighth post

Featured image

I kind of alluded to it yesterday, about why I blog. However, this post was inspired by a conversation with a friend who said that she is thinking of shutting down her blog because the reason she started it is over and she basically doesn’t have new material.

Why do I blog?

Because I love to write and I love to share and save my thoughts in one place. I have always journalled but that runs into different books while this is a bit more static from year to year.

I think I have an interesting voice to add onto the blogosphere and share with some of my followers and readers.

I also read a lot of blogs and always get inspired from that to do and try and be a better blogger which I then like to try out or respond to on this platform.

More than that, I blog because it makes me happy. Very happy.

Why do you blog?

Source: April 17th Prompt

Monday morning beauty

C360_2014-10-20-12-16-19-387

The budding trees outside my balcony. So beautiful and delicate. Enjoy :) 

Sunday jams …

I LOVE these songs and somehow they have always managed to soothe and encourage my soul and I pray that today, the same thing happens to you.

This article requires it’s own post ..

Please read throught it and all the comments made thus far.

Why 12 Years A Slave will always matter to Louisiana

It was written a while back but for some reason WordPress Pressed it this week.

I love most about it that it is steeped in a very real human interest angle but it doesn’t shy away from the brutal hard facts.

Two conversations at the traffic lights

One

I pull up to a traffic light and hand over food that I had gotten from the house to give a beggar when I come across them in the course of my day.

Me: Here is some food.

Gentleman: Oh thanks Ma’am (starts to walk off)

G: Oh, I’ll give this to my colleague over there.

M: Why?

G: Oh, I don’t eat rice.

M: Really? What do you eat?

G: Pap en vleis

M: Okay, I will bear that in mind.

Two

When I eat out with friends, if someone won’t take away the food left on their plate, I always take it with me and give it to street kids because most restaurants would rather trash the food than give it to needy people.

Me: Here you go.

Gentleman: Oh thanks Ma’am

G: My name is Jimmy, what’s your name?

M: (I give my standard fake name) Jane

G: Thanks Jane. I also don’t have shoes, I wear a Size 6 (and lifts his foot to show me) maybe you have some shoes at home you could help me with?

M: No, I am a size 5.

The end.

NOTE: I never roll down my window in the night and NEVER at any intersection that has a history of people smashing at windows. As I speak to these guys, my window is maybe open only 20% and my eyes are constantly out for the traffic lights and anything else.

Today’s office lunch

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Got the recipe from here and boy is it quite filling!!

Recommended app for like, forever!

Coffitvity

Coffitivity

I must confess that I am not the kind of person that would generally recommend white noise type apps or any others that boost productivity but not this one! It actually felt like I had managed to bring a trendy cafe into the office (coffice anyone?) and it helped me to focus on what I needed to do because I work in a.very.noisy.open plan.

More details here but from me, its a definite recommend!

If anyone uses it and like it, please lemme know your experience.

Late afternoon reading

  1. Make an ordinary day happy
  2. Mapping the impact of ethnicity in Kenya
  3. 25 famous women talk aging
  4. And the Economics Nobel Prize goes to …
  5. 75 monumental pics of our lifetime (so far)

Stuff I don’t speak of on this blog

  1. Sex.
  2. Politics – I might react to something but it won’t be an analysis, merely my opinion.
  3. Economics- which is odd because I am an Economist. I just find that this is my way to unwind from what I do for a living.
  4. Swear words or any other coarse language.
  5. Religious bashing although I will talk about my Christian faith.
  6. Fashion – I might like an outfit but that’s that!
  7. Very personal stuff about me because I enjoy having an anonymous blog.

Never a dull moment in Joburg City

Joburg city

These ads, penis enlargement and advertisements for a traditional healer/ witchdoctor are all the rage in the centre of Johannesburg town.

Daily Prompt – Sweet Sixteen

This is very late but I found this post in my drafts and decided that better late than never ..

When you were 16, what did you think your life would look like? Does it look like that? Is that a good thing?

When I was 16 and struggling to comprehend moles in Chemistry and looking forward to finishing High School the next year and get into the “real world”.

  • When I thought ahead to 29, I thought that I would be working at a job I loved with my whole being and rising up through the corporate ladder. Not really the case, I hadn’t banked on the fact that this perfect job is not just sitting in a shelf waiting for me to show up.
  • I thought I would own my house and I would furnish as I wished. The house would have a big kitchen and I would experiment with different dishes and host people all the time. This is mixed as I don’t really entertain as much as I would love to but I still enjoy cooking.
  • I thought I would be married. Somehow I never thought about the kiddies.
  • I was hoping to have traveled and seen the world. Well I moved countries, but I am nowhere near achieving this.
  • I was hoping to buy myself as many books as I could and CDs. Oh, silly memory but I really wanted an iPod. Which I got and really loved. I do buy myself books and I relish that little privilege. I also belong to a library which further feeds that urge!

On the whole, I think I stuck to the 16 year old vision which to some extent makes me happy and somewhat content. Thanks 16 year old me!