Thursday, 16 February 2012

Happiness & Gratitude (Upcoming stunning recipes; And the mood of Cats...)


So... Valentines Day has left me feeling a little "moony" and warm.
I had such a happy morning, so content and ecstatic, for no reason at all, other than I was able to enjoy what is my life. I just wanted to share my gratitude, and quickly touch base... 
This morning I woke up, and I just realised how happy I am… I looked back into the bedroom to the adorably snuggle-sleeping Academic, I looked around the house at the beautiful things we are surrounded by, and how lovely the house looks when it’s tidy. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a piece of art that I’d had hidden away in cardboard, which the Academic had framed for me as a surprise on Valentines Day.  It was painted by one of my favourite (and most criminally under-rated) musicians/songwriters, Juliana Hatfield. She's also on Twitter, and she's a must-follow. Absolutely hilarious at times and fiercely intelligent.

What I want you to see: A typical day at home. Smiling Academic, aloof Sylvia.
An actual day at home: Sylvia may look like she is only trying to escape from pats, but it's much more likely that she's actually trying to smash the painting, and everything else I love. Give her 5 seconds, and the whole table arrangement could be on the floor. And she would happily skid through the debris.
Gosh, the painting looks great! I kept fretting about the high cost and inconvenience of having it framed, and The Academic just went and did it as a surprise, without my knowledge. Beautiful, meaningful things don't have to be expensive, but what a difference they can make, in any form. Too much stuff is stressful, but too little can be hard, too. I've definitely been in both situations in my life!

I had a shower, and was so grateful that I can afford to use natural products that my body loves - strong, mood-boosting scents from essential-oils and herbs. That we have fresh, hot, running water. The cracks in the ceiling paint don't matter.

The Academic wandered out of bed, sleepy-smiley, and gave me a hug. Almost in sync, Sylvia jumped out from her “discomfort-cat” spot, which is squished beside the fridge, on top of a pile of those environmentally-friendly reusable bags, and ran towards me, but away from me when I tried to pat her (of course).  She must have settled in there after coming into our bedroom at 4am this morning and howling us awake, for no reason at all. She loves to do that. She'd make a great ninja if it weren't for the fact that she needs to telegraph her sudden movements. When she's about to run, she'll make an "oourrerrerrr" noise. She only wants to snuggle when you're about to leave. If you want a cuddle, she doesn't. If she submits to pats, eventually she'll turn on you and grab you close with both of her arms, whilst kicking you as hard as she can with her back legs.  She’s the ultimate “look, but don’t touch” cat. But then sometimes, she'll sit in your lap, and she'll close her second layer of eyelids, and look back at you, radiating love, content and happiness. And everything in that moment is alright. I love her, regardless of her mood.

A rare, "cuddle-cat" moment - on a friend's lap, not mine, of course
  We may not be conventional, but The Academic, Sylvia, and I make a beautiful little healthy, happy family that brings me so much happiness and joy. I love them, with all of my heart. They bring me so much happiness and peace, and we all grow and take care of each other. Some day, when we're comfortable, stable in our jobs, and own our own home - I hope this family will grow in size.

The shocking thing in all this happiness, however, was: even the sight of last night’s dishes in the kitchen made me happy. Do you know why? We had a delicious dinner and dessert, and the memory was still fresh (as were two pieces of pie still sitting in the fridge, begging me to eat them - but I didn't)...

Awwwwww....Can you see a bit of the scary/happy extra eyelid?
Neither of us were very hungry, having eaten delicious savoury pies too-soon before dinner last night, so we decided to keep dinner light. A light meal is most conducive to romance also, is it not?
The Academic loves raw foods, but I have this stubborn in-built resistance to them, which I shouldn’t – because properly prepared with good guidance (like anything), even simple raw food cuisine can be delicious. And simple is really the best you can hope for at home!

We had a fantastic raw marinara sauce, with low calorie, high fibre konjac noodles (doesn't sound so appealing, does it? I think of them more like salad noodles), followed by dessert: a delicious triple-treat banana, chocolate and peanut butter pie, topped with new-found whipped creamy goodness and salted peanuts. 

During all of this, we enjoyed a delicious vegan wine that a Twitter friend - hello @peterpanwine! - had sourced for me, recommended and gifted me with, which was a lovely (and unexpected) surprise in my mailbox yesterday.  It's Gemtree Uncut Shiraz, 2010. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Fabulous wine... Thank you, Mr Pan!
Our menu, the recipes and additional components from what formed our delicious dinner and dessert last night will follow tomorrow, in my Five for Friday post! Fresh, tasty raw marinara sauce, and the pie - and my recommendations for all the fixings!

Until then, I'm going to enjoy the fact that I have a stable, comfortable job; that I'm healthy, able-bodied and lucky enough to walk to work via a green, leafy path; that I have a beautiful family, wonderful friends, music I love that challenges me, makes me think and feel; and I will remember of all the aforementioned things that I love..

Thanks for sticking with me for this soppy, off-topic post. We may make you want to throw up in your mouth a little, but maybe it'll break through some of your cynicism ;). Love is the crown of life!

Stay tuned for those fantastic recipes and tips tomorrow!


  1. I just looked and was surprised there wasn't a comment on your previous post which I thought was very interesting reading - blogger must have eaten my comment!

    I had to comment on this one because I think it is lovely you have a cat called sylvia - my 2 year old is called sylvia and she just loves cats so I will have to tell her about your sylvia. We have a cat that is very much part of our family so I know exactly what you mean!

    And I agree that having a picture framed is a beautiful thing - we went to our favourite framers months ago because I have a few pics to be framed and they have closed down and so had the framers up the road so I am still seeking a new framer for these pics.

  2. I think that your cat and mine were cut from the same cloth. She certainly loves to pick her moments of friendliness, mostly at the most inconvenient times. But she's such a sweet thing, that I always give in and am usually a few minutes late for things because of it.


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