“Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”
Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875)
Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875)
Silent love…. That feels so much like my dad…
My dad was not mute – he simply hardly ever talked. I mean, hardly ever talked about things that really mattered. May be, it was only with me. Probably, it was only because of my gender. No, he did not mind my gender. I suspect he simply did not know how to talk to me, because I was of a different gender. All the gender-based stereotypes did not make it easier for him either.
He probably thought (or was told) that women knew better how to bring up daughters, that women knew better what makes girls happy – after all, they are the same gender, they are from the same planet Venus. I wondered about that sometimes. We seemed to be from very different planets with my mum. In fact, at times it felt like we were from completely different galaxies.
Interestingly enough, it seemed to be obvious to everyone else that I was a true daddy’s daughter from the moment I was born into this world. I looked like him, I saw the world like him, I was quiet like him. Even my hot temper and tendency to over-react or get over-agitated over minor things, I bet, came from him, as well as my rebellious free-thinking mind.
I also never behaved like a ‘typical’ girl. Things that mattered to other girls, like pretty dolls and fancy dresses, were hardly ever touched in my room. Shopping, cooking and girlish chats never interested me either.
In fact, all females in my family were puzzled and not sure what to do with me. My nanna’s announcement on my 30th birthday expressed that frustration so well: “Eureka. Finally I got it – you are simply not a girl. We thought you’ll eventually turn into one once you settle with family and children. Alas, it only made you worse…”
I could not stop laughing: it took 30 years for the nurture to finally give up on changing my nature…
Though my dad hardly ever talked, I could always feel a very strong invisible bond between us. Looking back I can clearly see now how much he was trying to do for me, quietly, silently, behind the scene, like a true guardian angel. I can clearly see now, how much he influenced me as a person, shaping my nature without forcing me into a stereotypical mould. I can clearly see now how he was trying to give me choices in life – choices to ensure I’ll be happy. I can clearly feel his silent love…
From Banana Moments
I’m 99% angel, but oh, that 1%, particularly my grouchiness… Grouchiness is in my nature as well as nurture, though luckily that grouchy nature got diluted a bit by sprinkles of humour by the time it got to me from my dear grandma.
My dear nanna was not just a grouch, but a Super Grouchy Grouch. Being a bit of a perfectionist, she always puts a lot of effort into everything 😉 . I do not blame her though – she did have a tough life. Still love my tough grouchy nanna. 🙂
No matter how hard I am trying to tame grandma’s grouchy genes, every now and then they pop out, especially when I get under pressure. While I never learned to manage pressure without grouchiness, fortunately, my nearest and dearest learned to manage my grouchiness with grace.
If you have a grouch in your family, do not let his or her grouchiness to wind you up. Respond with a joke or simply give your family grouch a smile, a hug and/or a kiss. Though you might not see any warm response behind the grouchy surface, deep inside your grouch will be pleased. 😉 That might be all your grouch needs to get over it. 🙂
Also, keep your grouch well fed to prevent him or her from getting hAngry. 😉
From Hanger Management
Or, may be, you are a grouch too? Then welcome to My Grouch Family. As the saying goes, “soft words butter no parsnips”. May be, our grouching will do 😉
And here is one of my favourite grouches who made this world a better place for over a million of people:
Fred’s grouchy story is available on my blog.
“The earth is what we all have in common.”
Today is Earth Day, a day to appreciate Earth and the environment. People celebrate Earth Day in many ways: Some clean up their local park, others work on educational efforts or even donate to their favorite environmental charity. What can you do to honor Mother Earth?
Danielle Nierenberg suggests the following 13 Things Everyone Can Do in 2013:
1. Eat more colors
The colors of fruits and vegetables are signs of nutritional content. A richly-colored red tomato has high levels of carotenoids such as lycopene, which the American Cancer Society reports can help prevent cancer, as well as heart disease.
2. Buy food with less packaging
Discarded packaging makes up around one-third of non-industrial solid waste in industrialized countries, with negative impacts on the climate, and air and water quality. Choosing foods with less packaging can also be better for our waistlines, since highly processed foods that are low in nutrients generally use more packaging than more healthful, less processed options.
3. Choose seasonal produce
Earth Day offers a great opportunity to bring more seasonal fruits and vegetables into diets. Many farmers markets sell products that are in season. Locally sourced, seasonal products can also be found at major grocery stores.
4. Get in touch with agriculture
This time of year, many people are starting to plan vacations. A great way to skip the crowds, save money, and get both children and adults in touch with agriculture is to book a farm-stay.
5. Get creative in the kitchen
Shopping at farmers markets, which often have a wide selection of less-ordinary produce such as celeriac, sunchokes, or kohlrabi, can prevent “food ruts” by helping consumers try new foods.
6. Invest in perennial crops
Perennial plants — plants that grow back every year — tend to hold water in soil more effectively than annuals and help prevent erosion. Their extensive roots also allow them to better access nutrients and water, reducing the need for artificial fertilizer.
7. Reclaim abandoned spaces
As populations continue to expand, especially in cities, reclaiming unused land and buildings for food production can help meet growing demand.
8. Build local and global food communities
A great way to get involved in food and agriculture issues is with Slow Food International, an organization with more than 1,300 groups around the world called convivia. These groups support healthy, sustainable diets and traditional food cultures.
Many Do-It-Yourself (DIY) food projects are easy and fun. Turning old t-shirts into produce bags to save plastic, starting seeds in eggshells, which can then be crushed for transplanting into the soil, and DIY foods such as homemade oat or almond milk can all add a creative twist to healthy eating and sustainable agriculture. Plus, they are lots of fun for families.
10. Cook in batches and freeze for later
Planning meals in advance can help reduce stress around cooking. It also helps reduce food waste, which is a big problem in industrialized countries A great way to reduce waste and make planning easy is to cook large batches of a single meal, such as soups or curries, which can be frozen and reused on short notice later in the week.
11. Brighten your outlook
At the recent Warwick Economics Summit in February, Warwick University Economics Professor Dr. Andrew Oswald presented his research on health and happiness, focusing on the link between happiness and consumption of fruits and vegetables. His team of researchers found that eating more fruits and vegetables directly improves a person’s mental well-being, separate from other variables such as income level and how much meat a person ate. This research is supported by a similar study from the Harvard School of Public Health, which found a link between patients’ blood-level of carotenoids, compounds commonly found in colorful fruits and vegetables, and their feelings of optimism.
12. Use crop rotation
Crop rotation is an important way to preserve soil nutrients, prevent erosion, and protect against crop diseases and pests.
13. Embrace conviviality around the table
Talking and laughing while sharing food is a uniquely human experience. Conviviality, joyful and friendly interaction, is found at markets and around the dinner table, and it supports healthy relationships and healthy bodies.
Let’s every day be the Earth Day 🙂