Measure for measure

“I am the worlds messiest cook!”

Well at least that’s what my family would say.  I am improving a little in my old age, but the problem is that I start of on one tangent and then head off on another and I do it while cooking.

I’m a bit of this, and a dash of that, type of cook.  I might begin on a few overripe bananas to make muffins but it soon becomes four courses at least.  The good thing is I can freeze it all but it is exhausting.  I usually end up giving a lot of it away but I have an aversion to throwing anything out so, it has to be re created or used in some way shape or form.

I have learned over time to wear an apron, sometimes I forget.  Years of ruining good blouses or staining outfits, has taught me to cover up on a cooking day.The long long trailer

I’m not a chef and I can’t say I got it from my mother, she wasn’t a great cook.  as a matter of fact, when a new baby was coming in our home my children would say.”who will take care of us while you are in the hospital?” they adored their Nanna but would groan when told it would be her, they would moan “oh she burns everything!”.  But I think I have a gift if you would like to call it that.  For turning nothing much in a pantry, into something halfway decent!

The only problem is, it is hard to re-create my  masterpieces. I don’t take notes, and I don’t take measurements.  on the few occasions I follow recipes I end up with a botch job.  for the most part I taste something and think

” I can make that”.

I seem to see the ‘loaves and the fishes’ these days, perhaps because I don’t have ravenous teenagers around the table anymore, or perhaps its just that I have learned a thing or two.  I end up with leftovers upon leftovers.

My style is not everyone’s, and with the wealth of cooking programs on TV these day’s it would be considered rather ordinary.  Gourmet food seems to be the rage.  I might like the look of some of it, and I am sure the dishes are delicious,  but I see an awful lot of waste, very little on a plate and overpriced decorative piles in the middle of huge white platters. My frugal budgeting of the past sees only dollar signs.

So whats the point of this blog? no idea.

 It keeps me out of the kitchen, so the dishes aren’t piling up.

Hubby is a sweetie really, he cleans up behind me and always says the same thing, “It’s worth it when you cook me yummy things”.  I think he means it, he doesn’t appear to mind the dishes, but I feel bad. I use so many utensils, pots and pans, I have too many projects going all at the same time.  I use every bench and spread out in all directions. It’s fortunate for him I don’t own a food processor, mincer, deep fryer, and other contraptions which would add to this mountain. For  two years we  had a dishwasher,  it did assist somewhat to alleviate his suffering.

dirty-kitchen-sink

To be honest this photo is tame compared to my kitchen on cook up days.

Well, thats it for now. I feel a recipe coming on.



photo courtesy of by Brian Kyusher  Feb 27, 2014 Continue reading “Measure for measure”

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Autism Awareness Month

This was not written by me.  However it may relate to someone else out there.

It was written after a very difficult day in my youngest daughters life.  I remember the day in question, she had experienced a lot of judging looks and misguided advice in a shopping centre when our grandson had an anxiety melt down.  We have all heard the screams whilst shopping and seen the tantrums and it’s easy to assume that the child is naughty or the parents are inadequate.  For many families this is a part of life and until it hit my family I never understood what a challenge it is.

The boy in the tale is my grandson. He is almost four now and has at last had some real help. A diagnosis is not especially good news, but for her she feels like all her struggle was not in vain. 

Once upon a time there was a boy. He was so beautiful that people would stop his family in the street, in the market place, out in the woods, wherever he may be. They wanted to know his name, how old he was. They wanted to tell his family that he was too beautiful to be a boy. They would marvel at how big his eyes were, how dazzling his smile, they would comment on his abilities and his achievements. They adored him. He had the face of a cherub, eyes that changed from blue to green or grey depending on the weather and his mood. He had supple, chubby, apple cheeks that were flushed with the lustre of his youth and curiosity and zeal for life. His golden ringlets hung just low enough to kiss his ears and frame his milky, baby soft skin. He glowed with love and life and gusto.

This boy loved the people. Mostly he loved HIS people. The ones that he called his, the ones he felt safe with, sure of. The ones who knew him as well as he knew himself.

But sometimes the boy wasn’t the cherub. Sometimes the boy turned dark and brooding. Sometimes the boy raged and stormed and couldn’t smile. Sometimes the boy was anxious and scared and he became unstable. Then the people didn’t love him. They didn’t stop and offer him sweets, they didn’t comment on how good he was, how beautiful. Instead they pursed their lips and shook their heads. They murmured amongst themselves and looked at him with distaste and distrust. They pushed his advances away and they turned their backs. They spoke harshly of his family and of his home.

The boy didn’t understand and he couldn’t grasp the reason for the change. Why was it that when he was hurting and scared and anxious that he wasn’t beautiful? Was he bad? Was something broken in him?

So the boy tried to be “good”. He decided that he would change who he was so that people would always love him. So they would always think he was beautiful and worthy. He watched and waited; he took note of the things that people seemed to like about him, the things that they found worthwhile. Then he would do those things but he did them with GUSTO. But this didn’t work. People got mad at his big hugs that became too hard, too long. People got tired of hearing him talk because he talked TOO MUCH. People pushed him away and yelled at him to leave their babies alone when he tried to cuddle or pick them up.

The boy was lost. He was sad, confused and lonely. The boy loved so much, so deeply. He wanted life to be just so, he wanted his people to be around him and love him. The boy was crushed. He heard them talking when they thought he couldn’t hear or understand. He heard them whisper things like “bad” and “different” and “difficult”. He heard them compare him to the other children in their lives, he couldn’t grasp why they spoke of him positively but then ended their explanations of him with those ugly words, the words that made his cheeks burn with shame and confusion.

The boy’s mother loved him so much, every time she looked at him her heart overflowed with the joy that she felt surely couldn’t be owed to one person. He was everything that she had ever wanted and more. So when people turned away from him, when they pursed their lips and shook their heads she stepped in to defend him. She explained about his anxiety and his fears. She told about his different personality and the hardships they introduced for him. She tried to show them that it was ok to love him all of the time. But the people wouldn’t listen. The people told her that he didn’t have any problems or excuses. They told her he was bad, that he was cruel and wrong. They told her that she wasn’t doing her job, that she should smack the boy, or smack him harder. They told her that she should punish the boy differently for his emotions and his actions. The mother knew this wasn’t true but she pretended to listen, she pretended to take it in. then when the people would leave she would take the boy into her lap, she would stroke his curly head and she would whisper to him “I love you now, I love you always and forever. You are a good boy, you are a smart boy, you are important and you are loved. More then anything, you are YOU.” The boy would hold her face in his hands, look into her eyes and say “I love you forever and always too mum”.

But this isn’t a fairytale. This story is my life. That boy is my son. Its easier for me to write about this as if it is a made up story in some place “far far away” but the fact is that this is happening here, its happening now, and pretending its imaginary doesn’t make those angry looks, those condescending comments about my parenting sting any less.

Jack struggles daily with life. There isn’t a label for how he is (although too many have tried to put one on him…or several.. anything that would seem to fit.) Jack is just Jack. That’s what those of us who know him best say. I don’t need a label to tell me that my son is different. But different isn’t always bad.

Not everything needs to be categorized, not everything needs to fit. Life is not a puzzle where all the pieces need to mesh together neatly. You may not know what it is like to have a child who, though he isn’t yet much over three, needs to know the exact itinerary for the day before he can even put his clothes on in the morning. One who, should you veer from that plan at all, will melt down into anxiety that results in him dissolving into tears every time you speak, but I do. You may not have experienced getting a hug from your child only to have him become overwhelmed by the intensity of the emotions he is feeling in that moment and come out of it with bite marks, but I do. You may not have held a baby who, while he is only weeks old has the strength to leap out of your hands just about, who scratches you bloody in his pain and anxiety, one who cant sleep unless he is being rocked, bounced and walked all at the same time, but have. I also know what it is like to have a child who calls out for you to come outside and look at the sunset because the sky is pink… and while he stands there, face upturned in wonder at the sight he tells you “its beautiful same as you mum”. I know what its like to have a bright little boy who can count to 20, write a J for Jack, who can draw faces and help his baby brother learn to crawl. I know what its like to have a toddler who will always share the last bite of his favorite treat. One who runs to greet you every morning with a grin that says, “You matter to me”. I know what it is like to hold him in my arms and listen to him whisper “I love you always and forever”

I know all these things and more, I am blessed to be his ambassador, his champion, I will always plead his case, though I shouldn’t need to. I brought him into this world, after carrying him inside of me for those long months, and I will stand by him until something takes me out of it, although sometimes after seeing his pain, his anguish at not being heard or understood, or watching the crease appear in his forehead just above his nose when he hears someone say he’s bad, he’s different, he’s not like the others..something they don’t think he understands, I wish I could put him right back. Back where prying eyes wouldn’t judge him. Where he wouldn’t have to conform or worry, where he had never been hurt or heard those ugly words. Where there was no pain. But to do that would mean that I wouldn’t get to hold him, I wouldn’t get the chance to whisper to him “I love you now, I love you always and forever. You are a good boy, you are a smart boy, you are important and you are loved. More then anything, you are YOU.” And all the hardships in the world, all the times we will face together will be justified in that one moment.

Always and forever.jack

Happy Mothers Day

tara 5Thank you to my daughters who try so hard to show how much they love me. What beautiful mothers you are, you have outshone me.

Mum! if I could be with you I would give you the most beautiful day and treat you like a Queen. Days like today I miss you so much.

My Sons
Just because you ignore me
Or forget me
Doesn’t make me any less your mother
I hold you in my heart
I dream about you
Nobody can take away the memory of each of you in my arms.
The first cry,
The laughter you gave me,
The tears.
You are as real to me now as you ever were.
You are my sons forever
I am your mother,
Doesn’t depend upon what you say
Or if you never come back.

Happy Mothers Day
To my three sons.
Thank you for being my children and giving me the opportunity to learn what true love and sacrifice is about.

715To my ‘ABBA Father’ Thank you that when I have no one to hold, none to comfort me, nobody who understands, I can run into your loving embrace, you are closer than a mother, a brother a lover.

I wouldn’t be able to face life without you.
Thank you for using my children to teach me how my actions toward you have hurt your loving heart.
Teach me to love better, live better and while your teaching me, please heal the wounds, repair the breach.
Unto Him who is able, I say
“Amen! Hallelujah”.

Only one life will soon be past only whats done for Christ will last. C.T Studd

 

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I pray tonight for mothers everywhere who don’t know where their loved ones are. For those of us who have children who are living in darkness. For those who didn’t get a chance to say goodbye.

I have met mothers who have lost adult children through brutal or shameful death.  Their pain is deep and words cannot ease it.  On my worst days, when I am tempted to fear, I remember that while they are here on earth there is still time to pray God to snatch them back.

I know I have used this many times over the years as my reference point.  And I feel for these mothers it’s a good reminder that prayer for our children is vital.

This is what the LORD says: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” Jeremiah 31:15.

Be glad for every day that you can hold those little ones close to you and don’t be afraid, as I was to chasten them, for fear of losing them. You lose them anyway.

The Lord chastens everyone He loves and it’s for our own protection.

Heb 12:6