Sunday, November 7, 2010

saturday: bean there, done that

tested by number 11, originally uploaded by various brennemans.

Day 5:"no screen" status
When we began this experiment last week I had my reservations. I can say now that if I had to list the pros and cons of the week gone by without TV and computer, I could only list pros. I am yet to make any concrete conclusions but I know that the effects of these both spill further than you know.

Everything just seems to be flowing better: There is more activity, more interaction, more play, more of everything kids should do. There is also just more time. I spent the week playing with my two little lovelies we read more we rolled around more and I felt less interested in getting my "jobs" done. I even had more time when the kids got home from school. It may be a hippy concept this no TV idea, it may seem too radical, some of you may even feel sorry for my kids. But they have not complained, not even asked for it. In fact they are benefiting 100%. I said to Aaron today I don't know what to do when this time is up.

My weekend began with ricotta pancakes and strawberries. Phoenix was happy.

Mid morning we received a text from a friend whom is recovering from a lung transplant and is on immuno-suppressant drugs. We had been unable to make two other get-togethers because at least one of the six of us of us is always a tad sick. We have joked about her needing a radiation suit to come see us.

In fact she knows better than anyone the misfortune, the almost comical way, we catch the craziest illnesses: The whopping cough when I last gave birth, the quarantine my baby and I were placed under. The scarlet fever we all came down with. The viral meningitis Aaron got a week after I broke my wrist. The kidney infection he got the first day I was home from hospital with Eliza. It just isn't normal.

The reason she knows our troubles is that many times we have fallen apart in her presence: On one occasion Aaron needing an ambulance while she was here, on another Eliza required a trip to the ER for Pneumonia.

We are the brunt of many jokes for the drama that occurs in our life. There is never a shortage of goings-on.

I go back to my point, when she'd messaged we were fairly well for us: two persistent coughs but both victims were going on with as normal. One, being Eliza, was off playing with our neighbour's little boy for the majority of the day, the other was doing fine. So we told our friend it was safe to visit. (She said she would come fully prepared with alcohol pump pack regardless.) But before she could even get to our place Phoenix gets a fever and is up in bed with his hippo and feeling poorly.
sick bed
We set him up with his water bottle in the cute woolly monster-face cover Aaron had stitched for him a while back. I bought him drinks and let him rest. The remedy my kids love when they are sick is pastina, a simple soup made with stock and tiny pasta. Alphabet on this occasion. A splash of olive oil and then some parmesan on top. They love it and it makes them feel all warm and it goes down easy.

So the friend, she arrives and I say I am the only real well one here, Can I hug you? I mean she has had a transplant for goodness sakes. You want to say, thank goodness you are able to be standing here.

She had missed our family and our food, the way you get fed whether you are hungry or not and loved whether you deserve it or not. We retreated to the back garden to admire my artichoke plants (which are looking rather splendid!). We spent rest of the afternoon out there: Finishing off tomato planting, moving some planted too closely, pulling weeds. The kids played in the sandpit, and enjoyed the outdoors.

On one of my back-and-forth trips to check on Eliza I returned with a shirt-front filled with freshly picked broad beans from over the road's garden. I remembered last spring's broad bean dip which I have made several times now, usually also with baby peas. The dip was served with warm pitta bread, made as garlicky and as tangy as you like with a sharp parmasen, lemon juice, a good amount of olive oil to get it all nicely blended. Some mint leaves thrown in and bang it's a fantastic dip.
cardunculusgift rapt

True to form, though, within 45 minutes of her arriving I had begun to feel my tonsils there in the back of my throat. My neck and ears began to feel sore too, and by the time the lunch dishes were cleared my throat is feeling like it is squished shut. Unbelievable. Aaron had to put me to bed, bring me a panadol, and make me a cup of tea. My day was done.


  1. I'm sure we have a vacant ward up in infectious diseases on the 9th floor, amazing, never a dull moment. Hope your tonsils are healing, oh and Phoenix on the mend too. The artichokes are definately a winner, you put the fruit shops to shame, they are floppy and bruised. I'm amazed John has never thought of growing these in our garden, that's a project for him to consider (sis)

  2. I am feeling a lot better, didn't need medication just rest.
    My artichokes were really easy to grow did nothing to them and they look spectacular. Apparently they will be there for 3 to 4 years, well worth putting in if you have the space they are about a metre across.