Saturday, 19 May 2012

Five things for Friday: It's Still Friday Somewhere....


Everywhere, Bananas....

Friends of ours left the country for good (sniffle) earlier this week, and bequeathed upon us most of their condiments and other things from their fridge. They also gave me about 5lbs of bananas! I'm not entirely sure why they bought so much fruit in the weeks before they were moving overseas, but there they were: slightly brown, very fragrant, and needing to be used quickly.

We've had banana bread, banana cake, banana & pumpkin cake (as an experiment... not bad) and the rest have been peeled and frozen for future banana emergencies. 

This, times 50
I am planning on making banana ice cream when it gets hot enough. Eventually. At some point. Ah, English weather.


Speaking of Weather

Two months ago, we had a week of amazing weather. Sunshine, bright blue skies with minimal clouds, and very warm. Now? Not so much! It's nearing the end of May and I still need to put the heating on now and then. 

Complaining about the weather is a national past-time. This morning there is no rain, but it is very wet and clearly rained all night.

My kids are especially disappointed today because we were planning on going to a car boot sale and selling some of our stuff. Yesterday they didn't get many customers, and I told them they could try again at the car boot. (For those of you thinking, "???", a car boot sale is sort of like a garage sale only everyone drives their stuff to a big field and uses the boot - trunk - of their car to display items. You normally pay £5 for a pitch) I tried to explain the false economy of paying £5 for the privilege of not making any sales, but they weren't in the mood to understand very gracefully. It's been an intense morning.

But we'll go to one soon! It's bound to get warm eventually, at some point this summer, at least. Right?!

Every. Single. Day.


Making Clothes

I've decided to start making my own clothes. The cost of clothing is prohibitive in many stores (at least according to me!) and most of it is low quality (only meant to last for one season of use) and doesn't fit me right. 

I'm starting with something easy, like skirts. I've already made this skirt, which wasn't difficult and the pockets are just fantastic. I also am copying a skirt that I already own and making a new one in different fabric. It's going to be swishy and pretty and I am putting in the same style of pockets as in the first skirt, because pockets are Very Useful. I have plans to make a pencil skirt next, but that will require a bit more effort, and possibly sewing darts and a zipper. Gulp! Elastic waistbands are waaay easier.

What I need more than anything, though, is tops. That is the reason I started sewing my own clothes in the first place, but I'm kind of nervous about starting. It's so much more complicated than a circular piece of fabric with elastic. But I have to try! My clothing selection is incredibly limited at the moment.

Not always so easy.



For a few years now, I have told people in a jokey sort of way that I am addicted to sugar. I gave it up completely before I got pregnant with my youngest (so about 3 years ago now) but fell back into the habit - or the sweet, cloying grip of sugar as I often describe it to myself.

Some of the common symptoms of addiction are:
  • Tolerance - the need to engage in the addictive behavior more and more to get the desired effect
  • Withdrawal happens when the person does not take the substance or engage in the activity, and they experience unpleasant symptoms, which are often the opposite of the effects of the addictive behavior
  • Difficulty cutting down or controlling the addictive behavior
  • Social, occupational or recreational activities becoming more focused around the addiction, and important social and occupational roles being jeopardized
  • The person becoming preoccupied with the addiction, spending a lot of time on planning, engaging in, and recovering from the addictive behavior

If I read through that list with my experiences of eating sugar in mind, I can nod my head YES to every single one.
Tolerance? Check - I was always having to up my intake of junk in order to get the same level of satisfaction.
Withdrawal? Check - I would get headaches, dizziness, mood swings, etc when I went too long without the stuff.
Difficulty cutting down? Check - there is no "consuming in moderation" for me. If I indulge, it is like opening the floodgates to devouring sugar-laden foods at every opportunity.
Focus on the addiction at social activities? Check - I couldn't enjoy myself at a function with food unless I was eating something sugary.
Preoccupation with the addiction? Check - If I was afforded a rare opportunity to be alone in the day, I would always plan on a sugar binge to go with that alone time. I would often plan for it many days in advance.

It is embarrassing to admit all this, but it's true. I've had to cut sugar out of my diet almost entirely. I say almost, because it is still there, lurking in jarred sauces or tinned foods. I am slowly making the change over to sugar free everything, but breakfast is a stumbling block for me... I need to re-think what makes a good breakfast entirely. Re-heated leftovers are a good alternative right now. (I am also avoiding sugar substitutes)

I've decided that if I consider my sugar addiction a life-long issue, and not a temporary change, I will be happier and healthier in the long run. Not only physically healthier, but mentally healthier. All that time and head space I was giving over to planning my next sugar fix can actually be put to much better use. I am breaking free from the chains that bound me, and it is a wonderful feeling. So what if I can't have a piece of cake with everyone else? Who cares if I was the only one drinking fruit tea instead of ordering dessert at the restaurant? I am satisfied with my food choices now, which is worth more than any temporary satisfaction a sugary "treat" could give me.

I need to write more about this another time, because the science behind sugar is rather frightening. I really think it should be re-classified as a toxin.

Looks innocent, doesn't it?



We rent. I have four kids. We don't do pets in our family. The kids would love to have a dog or cat, but even if we had permission from the landlords, I don't think I could bring myself to add a critter to our family. They are a lot of work, and my motto is "I clean up enough poo as it is, thankyouverymuch."

But we do have a little tank of sea monkeys. They are kind of cool and a little bit gross. The kids will ask why their tails are suddenly really long... yep, that's their poo. But I don't have to clean it, (see above) so it's okay with me.

The tank has been going for about 4 weeks now, and the adults are mating. Their eggs have hatched, so we have the next generation of brine shrimp on their way to adulthood. Hopefully they'll make it! The kids love watching them, but I keep the tank out of their reach most of the time. 

I had a sea monkey tank once, as a teenager. My friend didn't know what it was and turned it upside-down trying to figure it out. Splash went my monkeys! Poor little things. I am very protective of my current brood. It will be interesting to watch their little lives unfold over time. 

But they are kind of gross to look at close up. Did you know the adults have three eyes? Ew.

There should be three eyes, just to be accurate.
This Five things for Friday link-up is brought to you by Women in the Scriptures. Have a great weekend!


funkyhan said...

Glad to see you have embraced our national pastime. Weather. Bah!

I would love to make some pretty, long skirts for myself (and tops, but like you say, scary!) so i am looking out for your updates there!

I had some seamonkeys once, but i dont share your enthusiasm. Bleugh!

RaisinCookies said...

I've been buying fabric off eBay so I have to tackle tops at some point! Plus, the skirts I'm making are nice enough, but I don't have enough tops to wear with them!! Dresses are useless at this point with all the breastfeeding, so.... must make tops soon.

I'll post pictures when we get our new camera. *someone* broke the other one. Sigh!

Heather@Women in the Scriptures said...

I have always wanted to try sea monkeys! You have inspired me, maybe i will have to do it this summer. My kds have been wnting a pet too, and i have been thinking a hermit crab might just be a great pet:)

Good luvk with the sewing adventure!