Growing Lettuces and Cookie Improvisation

Today, we ventured out for a little walk around our neighbourhood first thing in the morning. We didn’t encounter anyone and it was so tranquil and felt like we’d stepped back in time. I’m doubting whether I should continue taking walks with the girls in light of everything that’s going on, even though weโ€™ve just been sticking to our own area and avoiding people. It was misty and the greenway looked like a scene from a gothic novel, like a winding driveway that disappears into fog. It cleared my head and tired the girls’ legs out, which made them much more amenable to the activities we did at home ๐Ÿ™‚

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When we got home, I made some coffee and got out paints for the girls to paint rainbows to stick up in our living room window. I had seen online that other children had been doing that to cheer up their neighbourhoods and as a scavenger hunt for other kids when they are out for a walk. My younger daughter dived head first into the painting, while the other spent a long time making precise lines with felt tips. I like the contrast between their attitudes towards art – one flings everything at the page and is finished in five minutes, the other’s attention to detail and patience is better than mine ๐Ÿ™‚ I liked the fact she also drew a rainbow dot frame for her picture ๐Ÿ™‚

Painting carried on for a long time and then I put on a live video for them to watch that was designed for kids. They were noticeably calmer compared with when we’d first woken up and they were doing somersaults on my bed ๐Ÿ™‚

We spent some time in the garden. The girls continued making soil and leaves meals in a disused barbecue we have ๐Ÿ™‚ They’ve moved it into their play house now and have been hosting pretend parties for us in the garden. I did some weeding while they played. I find that weeding with my bare hands really grounds me and helps me to calm any anxious thoughts I might be having. I’ve been attempting to grow some herbs on my kitchen windowsill and the lettuces were taking over, so I separated them out a little. I have no idea whether I’m doing it properly, so it is all guesswork and hoping for the best ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll be shocked if I ever successfully grow a plant from seed (or keep a potted plant alive for that matter.)

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We spoke to my parents on Facetime to wish each other a happy mother’s day and catch up on what we’d been doing in our respective houses. When I imagine families separated in the past, I realise how lucky we are to be able to still see the animated faces of our loved ones while we are in isolation.

We used up the rest of our flatbreads and hummous (which the girls are still refusing to eat – more for me :)) I made some lentil soup too. Afterwards, I decided to try to make flour from oats. I made some two-ingredient cookies with the girls. It’s a good way to use up overripe bananas, and you can add any additional extras you like. I added some chopped walnuts and sultanas. They tasted surprisingly good for cookies without sugar.

We sat down over cookies and tea and I got out some printer paper for the girls to make cards for friends. I couldn’t find any card, so we just folded the paper length-wise, and then brought the two ends together to make a card. Apparently people used to do that in the past, and they stand up perfectly when you do that. The girls had a great time, writing little notes to their friends and decorating them with sequins and stampers. I’m glad of my craft-hoarding problem during this time. I had found a pack of hundreds of sequins reduced to 50p in B&M a few weeks ago and we made a little home for them in an egg carton. It was a useful way to keep all the colours separate ๐Ÿ™‚

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I had booked to do a live class online for the girls, involving acting and dancing. It didn’t quite go to plan, but it was my first time using Zoom, and the girls still enjoyed it. They had to dance, mime and pull different faces in response to various imaginary flavours ๐Ÿ™‚ They took a while to come out of hiding, but by the end they were enjoying it and asked to do it again. I think they found the fact that the people in the class could see and hear us a little strange ๐Ÿ™‚ But it was worth doing.

I ordered the girls Toucan boxes after reading reviews about them. They send out two a month to your house and they contain craft/gardening packs based on your child’s age. I’m excited to see what comes in them, never mind the kids ๐Ÿ™‚

Apart from that, we just spent some more time in the garden. I find that doing that and connecting with nature, even in small ways, heals something in me. I noticed the most birdsong I have and it made me realise how much we miss behind the heavy noise of traffic. Tomorrow, I’m going to embark on a home-school plan, and I might need vast quantities of coffee to get moving in the morning ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

Slow Days and Homemade Lemonade

Today was a slow-moving day, centred around the house. I received a lovely surprise basket of chocolate from โ€œthe girlsโ€ (my parents) for Motherโ€™s Day. It cheered me up because Iโ€™d thought it was a package with a returned dress I had sold in it ๐Ÿ˜€ I went for a quick walk with the girls early this morning to buy lemons from the fruit shop. My daughter had been requesting my homemade lemonade, so I decided the extra vitamins wouldnโ€™t do them any harm at the moment ๐Ÿ™‚ I got a moment of peace to make it, which is rare in our house. But it feels like the girls are slowing the pace they live at (sometimes) to match the world at the minute.

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I found a glass bottle Iโ€™d got from IKEA to store the lemonade in. I added the juice of 2 1/2 large lemons and the zest to about 700ml of boiled water in a measuring jug. While it was hot, I stirred in a generous amount of honey to taste (it was at least 1/4 of a squeezy tube) and stirred it well. After it had cooled, I transferred it to a bottle and put it in the fridge to chill. In the hours it spent sitting, reaching the right temperature, I was asked tens of times if it was ready yet ๐Ÿ™‚

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We tuned in on Facebook to Wee Bookworms to watch a live video of a reading of Peter Rabbit by a lady who works in the bookshop. They are on every Saturday morning at 11.30am for kids. I also ordered one of their activity packs each for the girls. Theyโ€™ll be so excited when they see them arriving in the post ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

I changed the beds and aired out the house, which always uplifts me and continued to move the piles of clutter to different positions in my kitchen ๐Ÿ™‚

For lunch, I made some hummus to go with the flatbreads I had made last night. It was a simple recipe and tasted really good. My kids didnโ€™t agree, but they devoured the flatbreads anyway ๐Ÿ™‚ Iโ€™ve been looking out for flour when weโ€™ve been in the shops and havenโ€™t seen any in a while. Luckily, I had some left because I tend to bake bread every week anyway. But I was thinking of options for when we run out and remembered you can blend porridge oats and use them instead of flour – Just a tip I remembered if anyone is in the same boat. You can also use polenta to make American cornbread if you have any. My hummus – it tastes better than it looks ๐Ÿ˜€

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After lunch, we had some quiet time, playing dominos and I made myself a caramel latte ๐Ÿ™‚ Iโ€™m not missing my takeaway coffee as much as I thought I would. I tend to get it when Iโ€™m writing, but Iโ€™ve realised there are cheaper alternatives and the one I made today tasted the same ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

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We put on some yoga music and the girls did some kidsโ€™ yoga, whilst climbing on me as I attempted to do it! Itโ€™s cute actually – my daughter taught me all the poses she uses in nursery, like happy baby, ice skater, tree, happy and sad dog and kitty, etc. I made them an after-yoga snack of fruit and water. Then they headed out to the garden to burn off some excess energy. I hung out the laundry, which has, weirdly, become one of my favourite things to do. They played in the dirt and made food out of soil and water ๐Ÿ™‚

We finished the day with some bolognese, stories and playing restaurants. Iโ€™m exhausted now, but simultaneously, looking forward to tomorrow. I say that in the spirit of finding the good in a difficult situation, rather than discounting the severity of it.