Shhhhhhh! This will have to be a very quiet Ten Things of Thankful, at least for now! Niece and Neff are asleep here tonight on an ‘Aunty Lizzi Sleepover’ and (don’t tell Sis) they only went to sleep at 8.15 after a special evening out to the allotment to do watering, followed by a bath, followed by a story and two songs each. I’m very keen for them to stay asleep because, well, let’s face it – they’re 3 and 5 and you know what that’s like when it’s meant to be sound-o!
1. Still absolutely loving my fish tank! I’m really excited about getting the first of my fish in a week or so once the system’s matured.
2. I’m loving having Niece and Neff to stay. We’ve had no meltdowns, no problems, and so far it’s gone swimmingly. They both helped (a little) to cook tea, and showed off reasonably good table manners as we ate. Neff was particularly pleased that ‘his’ recipe worked out so well, and they both ate it, which was wonderful.
3. As a point of facilitation, I am *SO* thankful that Husby helped me cut the cut-off of blackout blind in half and fix it onto the back of the curtains in their room. It was major, major effort, as Niece and Neff kept bouncing on the beds to try to see what we were doing, and were generally doing a fantastic job of being small, interested, in-the-way people. And Husby pitched right in there with the how-to and the operating-at-height and made it happen.
4. I’m grateful for the gorgeous sunshine which made me so toasty warm today and dried out the freshly laundered sheets within hours. They smell all fresh-air-and-sunshine-y, which was scrumptious to tuck the children up in for bed.
5. The pizza recipe Neff created ‘by himself’. It was absolutely gorgeous. He’s on a non-dairy kick, and I wanted to make sure that his pizza wasn’t too dried up, so I added finely grated carrot to the sauce, and it was juicy and de-lish! (Husby, Niece and I did have cheese on ours. Also scrummy)
For the base
400g self raising flour
2 tblsp dried mixed herbs
1 tsp Bouillion (or one crumbled stock cube)
Water to mix
3 tblsp tomato puree
2 tblsp tomato ketchup
2 medium carrots, finely grated
1/4 cup of water to mix*
Mix the dried ingredients and add enough water to make a stiff dough. Roll out and place on a pizza tray (the ones with holes in) and bake in the oven until the top is just going blond, then remove, turn over, and add the sauce then the toppings and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes, or until getting ‘cooked looking’ on top.
*I usually add water (but not carrot) so the sauce is the consistency of pasta sauce, and spreads well, but the carrot got in the way, so in the end I made it too runny and had to thicken it up a little with extra flour. This might be an idea anyway because the carrot makes the sauce really thick, and I think without the flour helping to bond it while cooking, it may all slide off. Mix 2 tsp flour in with the water you add to the sauce.
6. I discovered that my attitude to gratitude can change for the better, my attitude to giving can be adapted to suit, and my competitive nature is sated when one of my friends wins something I’m also competing for. A good week for personal growth.
7. I’m grateful that in a world turned into a global village by the internet, courier companies exist who don’t charge every penny they can, enabling the sending and receiving of gifts. Husby and I received a gorgeous painting from my great uncle in New Zealand. It’s absolutely stunning and I’m still in love with it, not only because it’s original art (I’m a little bit of a snob that way – I *love* my originals) but because it’s absolutely, blindingly stunning. Simple and beautiful and it appeals on every aesthetic level I can think of.
8. Helping out pays dividends – I’m involved in two sets of work with youngsters at my church – I’m the creche leader, and a helper with the youth-group for the 11-16 year olds. There’s been a push this year on appreciating all the volunteers, so a few weeks ago Husby and I got invited to a stunningly swish, delicious meal as a thank-you for the creche stuff, and tomorrow evening we go to a BBQ to say thanks for our help with the youth group. Such a generous, lovely (tasty) way of being thanked for the hard work we and the others on our teams put in.
9. I’m so grateful that I’m feeling less anxious about the whole infertility thing. It’s been coming on for a while now, but particularly since Monday night (which was pretty bad, as I was mired in the whole ‘grief’ thing) I’ve been reasonably at peace. I’ve been able to look at pregnant women and think ‘good for them’. I’ve smiled at babies. I’ve smiled at parents enjoying spending time with their children. It hasn’t felt like falling off a cliff or dying inside or red-hot-pokers to the heart. I prayed that I’d begin to feel better, and whether this is an answer or a self-fulfilling thingummy (or a bit of both) I’m hugely pleased that I am freer now to get on with living life and finding Good to do, without that emotional burden tearing me up every day. Don’t get me wrong, I still think it sucks, but at the moment, this week, I can see a life beyond ‘can’t have children’, and that life is good.
10. I discovered I have more learning to do, as I am pretty ignorant of the parts of speech! For someone who loves writing as much as I do, this is a fairly poor state of affairs and needs to be rectified. If anyone can recommend a straightforward, elegantly written book which explains this, you can be in my Ten Things on Sunday!
Sneaky little extra – as of the end of this post, Niece and Neff are still peacefully in dreamland…yay!
[Edit <30sec later "Dangit! Spoke too soon"]