#Zombieprompts Week 17

What are your biggest long term dreams?

So Im a week late with this one but I have a good excuse, its been Pesach and my mommy in law was here and I’ve been on holiday.

My biggest long term dream? Living completely debt free. Simple.

Photo of the Bahá'í Gardens in Haifa by Paul

Photo of the Bahá’í Gardens in Haifa by Paul

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#Zombieprompts Week 16

Show your readers 5 different ways to decorate pumpkins.

Whoops, a bit late with last weeks prompt 🙂

So I have only ever decorated/carved a pumpkin once. It was messy and fun and easier than I expected. This is what it looked like.

Aaron could not wait for night to fall so we could light the candle

I was pretty proud of it. You can see the entire ‘how to’ here.

If I were to decorate more pumpkins I wouldn’t carve them. Way too messy and gooey.

I would rather do something like the images below.

 

 

 

 

 

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Clean All The Things

Spring cleaning. Pesach cleaning. Just all the cleaning.

So far since last Friday we have done the following:

  • Cleaned Aaron’s room.
  • Cleaned Faith’s room.
  • Sorted out Aaron’s cupboard.
  • Sorted out Faith’s cupboard.
  • Cleaned out both pantry cupboards.
  • Swept, vacuumed and steam mopped all the floors (which will have to be redone on Friday).
  • Deep cleaned my oven and stove top (which caused me heart failure when the gas hobs stopped working because they got wet, they now work just fine).
  • De-calking the kettle.
  • I’ve done at least 8 loads of laundry since last weekend including, blankets, duvets, linen, clothes, towels and kitchen cloths & mop cloths.

Still to be done this afternoon and tomorrow morning:

  • Cleaning the fridge and freezer.
  • Cleaning all the kitchen surfaces.
  • Cleaning the microwave.
  • Deep cleaning the bathrooms.
  • Dusting.
  • Sorting out my cupboard.
  • Sweeping, vacuuming and steam mopping all the  floors again.

And after all the cleaning is done, I have to pack away all my day to day crockery and cutlery and kitchen things and unpack all the Pesach things and wash what needs washing before it can be used.

And then the great Pesach cooking can commence.

I already need a nap...

I need a nap already!

 

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#Zombieprompts Week 15

Write the beginning of a scary story and let your readers decide what happens next.

The rain was coming down harder, the icy pellets stinging her bare arms. She stopped walking at the cross roads, her eyes darting to the sides, into the dense bushes along the road. She knew she wasn’t alone, she just didn’t know what else was out there, watching her. A loud crack of thunder sounded at the same time the lightning struck, illuminating the road ahead. Nothing but a long dark road, flanked my tall trees, bending almost double in the wind and rain. She started walking again, a little bit faster. The sharp staccato sound of nails on tar made her heart beat faster. She didn’t turn around, just started to run.

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Bilingual Children

I’ve spoken before about how amazing my kids are in regards to learning Hebrew. How that, within the 1st few months of living in Israel, they were already able to hold a conversation with their friends, teachers and the cashiers at the supermarket.

The fact is that both kids are now fluent. They even know words in Hebrew that they don’t know the English for. Lots of dictionary looking up going on over here.

kids

One of the things that struck me this week is that Faith tends to speak Hebrew when she is playing by herself. I often listen to her playing with her dolls or other toys and speaking in Hebrew to them and making them speak in Hebrew. She very rarely speaks to her dolls in English. She also sings in Hebrew all the time.

Its interesting to me because I don’t think Aaron would do it if he still played with his dolls and action figures by himself (he tends to prefer reading when he is by himself now).

When they play together, just the two of them, they will play in English with a few random Hebrew words or phrases thrown in. When they play together and they have friends over, they speak Hebrew mostly but they switch to English when they are telling each other what to do or fighting about something. I have to keep reminding them that they must speak Hebrew even if it doesn’t involve their friends because its rude to speak English in front of people who don’t understand.

Totally fascinating how they have adjusted.

 

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#Zombieprompts Week 14

Share your best soup recipe.

We’ve just seen the end of winter here in the Northern Hemisphere (good riddance!) so no more soup for us. Although chicken soup is always welcome, even in 40°C weather.

chicken-doctor-people-soup-prescription

This winter I made a few ‘throw everything in the pot’ soups and they all actually turned out really well.

In my opinion there are a few basic steps that MUST happen in order for any soup to be good, regardless of the ingredients.

  • Onion. Diced finely and fried until golden. Every soup should start with this as a base.
  • Herbs. Dried or fresh or frozen. You can use whatever you have on hand and don’t be shy, the more the merrier.
  • Time. You cant rush a good soup. Cook your veggies on a lower heat for longer. If you can, make your soup the day before you need it. Soup always tastes better the next day.

So, here is a basic recipe. You can adapt it depending what veggies you have in your fridge.

'Throw Everything In The Pot' Soup
A thick, smooth soup, perfect with fresh bread. The recipe below includes veggies I happen to have in my fridge at the time of writing this.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil (I use 2 'ice cubes' with chopped herbs from my freezer, very Pinterersty of me)
  2. 1 large onion, diced
  3. Herbs such as rosemary, thyme, cilantro, mixed Italian herbs, basically whatever you have on hand
  4. Garlic, either fresh, chopped or garlic powder
  5. Salt & pepper to taste
The following veggies are not set, use all or some or add what you have
  1. Potatoes, peeled and cubed
  2. Sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  3. Carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
  4. Turnips, peeled and cubed
  5. Leeks, leaves chopped off, cut into 1 cm thick slices
  6. Celery, leaves chopped off, cut into 1 cm thick slices
  7. Water to cover chopped veggies
Instructions
  1. Once you have washed, peeled, diced and chopped all the veggies, add your olive oil and onion to a large pot and saute until golden.
  2. Add remaining veggies to the pot and sprinkle with the herbs, salt and pepper.
  3. Stir the veggies until they are all coated in the oil and spices.
  4. Keep stirring the veggies every 5 minutes or so until they are all heated through and starting to soften.
  5. Add enough water to the pot so that all the veggies are covered. I usually add about 1 cm above the veggie line.
  6. Turn down your heat to a simmer, cover the pot, leaving a small gap to allow steam to escape and simmer for an hour or longer until veggies are soft and falling apart when poked with a fork.
  7. Remove soup from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  8. You can leave the soup at this point and have a chunky broth or you can blend the veggies with a stick blender which is what I do.
  9. Reheat the soup when you are ready to eat.
Notes
  1. You can really add any veggies you want to this soup, peppers, squash, pumpkin, you name it you can add it.
A Bit of This A Bit of That http://gnatj.com/

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#Zombieprompts Week 13

What are you ready to let go of this year?

I’m ready to accept that I am in my late 30’s and my body will never be what it was in my early 20’s again.

My butt is jiggly, my boobs are no longer perky, my belly is round, no matter what exercise I do, I am never getting rid of that little c-section roll over my scar.

I’m okay with this. It doesn’t mean I’m going to let myself go. I’m doing Pilates and I want to start walking/jogging/running/gasping for breath again. 

I’m eating healthier and trying to drink more water.

My aim is to be healthy not skinny. I’m not 20 anymore and that’s okay! 

 

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Picture of the park across the road from our apartment, taken by Paul

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Rainfall – A Book Review

I requested and received another book from Coral-Leigh to review last week. I was already in the middle of another book so I waited until the beginning of the week to start this one.

I requested another Melissa Delport book, Rainfall. Here is my review:

rainfall

Twists and turns and a gripping story

I usually don’t like 1st person books. I find it difficult to immerse myself in them and it always takes me a while to get into the story and this was the case with this book too. That being said, the story itself drew me in. Its not something I have read before and I was thoroughly intrigued by the psychology of the main characters. Not just Adam and his D.I.D. (Dissociative Identity Disorder) but Paige too. I love her happy go lucky attitude and her total dedication to the man she loves.

As I continued reading and became more immersed in the story and the characters, clear favourites started to emerge (no pun intended). I love Adam and Paige and was rooting for them from the start. I just wanted to hug Jacob and smack Simon. And Kyle… Lets just say he will always have a place in my heart.

I had heard so much about this book before I started reading it. I knew there were twists and turns and that it would be something totally out there. I did manage to guess the big twist but even though I knew what was coming, I still held my breath and lets out a frustrated ‘Nooooooooooo, it cant be!!’ when I read it.

Grab a box of tissues, a glass of wine (or two) and set aside a weekend to read this book. You wont be disappointed.

*If you would like to buy the book, hop on over to Amazon here.

*If you would like a chance at reading review copies of more awesome books, hop on over to Read & Review here to become a reviewer.

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#Zombieprompts Week 12

What is one new thing you want to learn this year?

Knitting!

Its not a new thing, I’ve known how to knit for years. But only basic knitting and purling.

Now I am teaching myself how to add stitches and decrease stitches and how to make shapes and how to make little stuffed toys.

I don’t think I’m too keen on making jerseys and other wearable things. I want to make fun things.

I’ve made over a dozen small variegated grey hearts that I want to turn into baby mobiles. I will use about five or six grey hearts and then add an accent coloured heart depending on if its a boy or a girl baby and possibly embroider their name on it. I want to hang them using a thing silver ribbon and an embroidery hoop. Hold thumbs it turns out the way I want it to.

heart

This last weekend I came across a pattern for little mice. They each take about 45 minutes from start to finish. The pattern calls for embroidered eyes but I wasn’t happy with the way they came out. I was contemplating what to do when I remembered that in my late granny’s sewing box was a little packet that said ‘owl eyes (2)’. I dug it out and they were perfect. That particular little mouse is going to live with my Sister in Law, Yana. I also made three more mice and since they don’t have eyes yet, they will be The 3 Blind Mice. At least until I can get to the craft store and buy some more eyes.

mice

Next up, I found a pattern for little bunnies that looks relatively easy to do.  Maybe after that I will try something a bit bigger. 

bunny

*Updated: They are sooooooo easy to do! And now I am making a bigger one that I will turn into a bear.

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#Zombieprompts Week 11

Share your goals and resolutions for 2016 and discuss what you want your life to look like one year from now.

Well, since I don’t do resolutions (I just feel like crap when they inevitably get broken), I guess I will concentrate on what I want my life to look like this time next year.

I want us to be happy.

I want the kids to have advanced a grade in school and to be happy and have good friends.

I want to be able to hold at least a basic conversation in Hebrew.

flower

Pic taken by Paul

I want us to possibly have a small (weekend) car so we can travel a bit and explore more of our amazing country.

I want to be able to go to South Africa for a visit and to see all my friends.

I want to have a dog (or a cat, or a ferret, or something else small and fluffy) to love.

 

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