I love polenta so I poured 2 cups into a dish with 1 tbsp oil, some salt, 4 cups water stirred in and then cook, without lid, in Microwave high for 15 mins or until polenta cooked. Stir with a fork after 6 mins and again when ready.
In a separate dish cook, without lid, 1 tin baked beans, 1 tsbp oil, and some salt for 10 mins or when appearing fried. Add 1 (or 2) lightly beaten egg, stir into fried beans and cook for 6 mins. I served with fried beans and egg on top of polenta with a dab of homemade yoghurt (Romanian style). Makes 2 servings for approx $2 the whole dish. Yummmmm💜
The major decluttering is over but now I’m going through the box of memories I created through the process not realising there’s still more suffering involved. Should I throw out the large laminated photos my family prepared for my surprise 60th birthday, after all I’ve got the original small ones in my album collection? What about the lovely letters and cards from my 2 husbands, family (mother), friends and celebrities etc. I had to sleep on that decision and came up with the solution that I could keep just a FEW in folders with plastic sleeves to flip through now and then. Besides I’m having my autobiography written by Moira Partridge and we may need to go through these.
The next step will be throwing these out when I don’t look at them anymore. I couldn’t believe that I found a loving letter from my mother, when we had paid for her and my brother’s trip back to live in Greece with some of her belongings in the 1980s.
My independence was a disappointment to my mother so loving words were so unusual and wonderfully rewarding to read. Have to keep this one.💜 So as I’d collected lovely white empty folders these proved handy.
Some cards that had touching words such as one from my daughter, Tina, who wrote that she realised how much she appreciated having birthday parties when that is not the usual for many kids. Her brother Paul shared these birthday parties because he was born in the same month a year sooner. When children are brought up independent and healthy, they have a tendency to not visit as often as we want, but parents who know they’re loved need to be forgiving. Seeing these words in cards are reassuring and I’m learning to be positive about it. So some of these cards went into the folders for when I need reminding. I needed help to pull down the heavy suitcases in my wardrobe so I sent an sms in my family group chat asking for volunteers and immediately my 18yr old, uni student grandson Nicholas, wrote back saying he’d be free at the end of the week. How’s that for being reminded they care? 💜
Having finished my decluttering I made a Japanese veggie and meat Curry. Just as well I’ve been housebound for so many days because Sydney has been ravaged by a super storm that not only rattled my closed windows but rippled my curtains too! The TV News report devastation of properties and deaths. Amazing, in my warm unit on the eighth floor it’s so like another planet outside.
For my curry meal I cooked for 10 mins in the Microwave 400g of Chuck steak with one chopped onion, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 tbsp oil, and 1 tsp soy sauce until the meat was rare. Then I added two handfuls of Kale, 3 cups of frozen veggies, 1 chopped potato, 1 tin of crushed tomatoes, 2 cups of water, 2 pieces from a bar of hot Japanese Curry, 1tbsp oil, and cooked for a further 15mins. Then I stirred in 1 cup of rice and cooked it a further 15 mins till the rice was cooked. At a cost of approx $6 this can feed 6 people (more with steamed rice on side) so I divided it into take away dishes to store in freezer. Yummmm I’m eating some now while the super storm is raging outside.💥
It’s done! I emptied my wardrobe in a traumatising process. I found clothes I hadn’t looked at in six years which I loved but threw out for the Salvos. Some which were my favourite were size 12! A part of me said “but you’re losing more weight what will you do when you reach 12?” And I’d respond “don’t worry we’ll buy new ones” and out they would go onto the bed where Mae decided was the best place in the home to sit. There are hoarders and collectors, there is a big difference. Collectors meticulously keep things of sentimental value packing everything away neatly in boxes and cupboards until they have so many they don’t remember what they have, but their homes are tidy. Then they’re looking for something specific and the guilt of having so much stored away gets them upset! That’s what happened to me, 8 weeks ago I began the decluttering. Hoarders throw everything around until there no room for them and it can get unhygienic too. I watched the shows on TV cause I loved the ending when their homes were spotless.
I eagerly began, not realising how traumatic it would be to let go of precious things. It’s hard for me to let go of material things. I believe this is so because my family was allowed to
leave Romania at end WWII with just the clothes we had on because my Dad was Greek Orthodox and qualified to go to Greece with his family as refugees. While in Greece we were housed in an old asylum and our home was on the dirt floor in the basement. I was 4yrs old and now in my 70s I can still smell that dirt when I remember back. Then 2yrs later we came out on a merchant ship to Australia with 300 other Greek Romanian families on the Marshall Plan, where we were kept in Army tents turned into Refugee Camps until the men got government allocated jobs and could move their families out. Our fares had to be paid back to the Council of Churches who paid them originally. So my father got work with the Australian Aluminum Co. and together with another man bought a huge tent which was erected with 2 double beds divided by a blanket and a large dining table housing their families, on a block of land at Fairfield. This was while the men built a half house which was still in progress when we moved in. It was 2 rooms divided by a wall and one family lived in one room with its kitchen dining room and external door out to the back while our family had the other similar bedsitter with an external door at the front.
So from that beginning I became attached to my possessions and the trauma was about letting things go that I had collected for over 60yrs, and which I no longer needed. When I start a project I’m committed to finish it no matter how painful, so this decluttering was traumatic because of my history. Nevertheless imagining how great I’d feel when the clutter is gone kept me going till the end. If the truth be known, however, there are still some suitcases in my wardrobe that a strong member of my family will need to pull down which need to be cleared.💥
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