Friday, 22 August 2014

Memories and beetroot...

Beetroot cake just to prove a point!

My wonderful Mom has been gone 3 months today. It is amazing to me how fast time can go but so very slow at the same time.

A few months ago my Mom and I were chatting madly on iMessage as we did daily, about my parents 40th wedding anniversary trip (which would have been this week), it would have included a stop to spend some time with us in our new home. Somehow the conversation got around to beetroot (???!!!! - our chats were often very random and usually utterly ridiculous)... My Mom wasn't a big fan of the humble root veg and was 'horrified' at the thought of a beetroot cake. I swore then that I was going to bake my parents one for their anniversary celebration supper, just to prove a point... Well, here it is. And guess what Mom? I was right! It is delicious.

I used Lorraine Pascale's recipe 'Really tasty fudgy orange beetroot cake' from her book 'A lighter way to bake'. It is an indulgent mix of good quality dark chocolate and LOADS of eggs. But it is really worth a try. I left mine in slightly too long (I blame a new oven and not my tendency to get distracted...) and in hindsight should have followed her recipe and taken it out a little earlier so it had a more gooey texture. But, nothing a good dollop of whipped cream couldn't rectify! It goes against the title of the recipe book really... But, hey! Some days require a little more comfort food than others.

Over the last 3 months I have found that the thought of an event or day is actually worse than the actual event or days itself. It would have been my Mom's birthday last month and for the weeks leading up to it, I was just dreading it. She loved birthdays and always made such a fuss of us. The thought of hers coming around with her not being here to celebrate it any more was utterly awful to me. But, I woke up the morning of her birthday and realised that it was just a day. Pretty much the same as all the ones before. I also realised that my Mom would have been so mad at me for using her as an excuse to be so very very sad. All she ever wanted was for me to be happy. 

So, every day is different. Some days are harder than others, and need a little extra whipped cream to make me smile. But I will do my best to be happy and remember the good memories and beetroot.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Starting at the beginning from the end.

Mom's shirts
I have started and stopped and deleted posts on this blog so many times, and it has been hanging around unused for ages. But, time for me to pick it up and start it properly, because I now have a use for it.

The motivation for me to start it has come from an ending.

Tomorrow, my wonderful Mom, my best friend, will have been gone 3 months to the day. I still can't quite believe it. She was only 60 years old and snatched away from us in what seemed like a heartbeat. One day my life was normal and ticking over like it did every day, and the next day I received a phone call from my Dad to let me know that my Mom was dying, and she wouldn't be with us for much longer than another 2 weeks. The shock of it still hasn't really sunk in. I lived over 10 000km away from my Mom, but I spoke to her nearly every day, we chatted on iMessage or email, Skype or the phone. Not once did I ever suspect that she was feeling so awful. She never said a word. My brave, special Mom.

I have found that many people are afraid of grief. People actively go out of their way to avoid it. So, it is very hard to deal with the emotions by sharing them with others. I don't blame them at all, I was the same until I had to face my own grief straight in the eye. Writing has always been my way of expressing my emotion. I get tongue tied and confuse myself if I have to deal with an emotional issue verbally. But, I can always write it down, it is a cathartic process. So, for me, this blog is the start of me being able to put my feelings in to words and deal with them.

I seem to have inherited my Mom's love of collecting craft items, but like her, the excitement is in the sourcing of the item, but once I have got it, I get bored and don't know what to do with it! After my Mom died I had to get all of her things together for my Dad so that he could have it away from his direct line of sight and so that he could go through it in his own time when he is ready. By the time I was done I had a very large bedroom stuffed to the brim with drawers, cupboards, crates and bags full of craft stuff. Most of it never even unwrapped. I certainly don't have an entire room filled to the brim, but I have a fair few items that I have either used half heartedly or never even used at all. As I was sitting on the floor cross legged in my parents home, feeling totally overwhelmed and stunned at the extent of my Mum's craft collecting addiction, I promised to kick my own hoarding tendencies to the kerb. So, my plan is to go through all of my items and use everything up and see what I can create without spending much more money unless I really have to, to finish the project. And, I will blog about it too.

The first project I am starting is one that I think will be the very hardest of the lot. Because I live so far away from where I was born, getting things back home can be a costly experience. I desperately wanted to have a few of my Mom's things after she died. We were very different sizes... She was barely just over 5 feet and I am significantly taller than that! But, I inexplicably felt the need to bring some of her shirts home with me. I didn't know why because they certainly don't fit me but they were easy to pack and not very heavy, and they were so very 'her'. I stuffed them into my bedside cupboard when I got back and it is only recently I remembered them and realised I was ready to look at them. I want to be able to look at them all the time. I stumbled on an idea on Pinterest where baby clothes are used to make a quilt. I am going to make a memory quilt from my Mom's shirts. Yes, maybe it is morbid to some, but to me once it is done, I know that having those shirts in a quilt will be the closest thing I will ever have to getting one more hug from my Mom when I wrap it around myself. I don't actually know how to make a quilt, but with the help of the internet, books and my Mom's ancient old Elna sewing machine I am hoping that it will turn out ok.

The 'no more dieting' diet.

I think it is safe to say that I have tried every diet under the sun. Probably twice. I have wanted to be Ella, at one point Dr Atkins ...