#68

It’s really not until you become a house owner that you understand the true beauty of a hardware store. As a child I used to dread trips there. I would drag my feet down every aisle adorned with every different kind of screw known to mankind (and yet still not the one my father would need) and grumble the entire way.

I really never understood the hype, until three days after moving into the new house when I needed to use a screw driver to attach the new 75 inch tv to its accompanying stand and realised a large gap in my inventory… tools.

Off to the local Bunnings I marched, concerned that my creativity and a knife tip in place of a screwdriver may not quite get me through the years to come. How I had gotten 22 years in and never found use for one, I’ll never quite know – but I was very aware this was now an issue.

In the midst of the large store room, inundated with every tool, contraption and adjunct I could have imagined, I realised I was well out of my depth. If the crisp white dress and beach wedges hadn’t already given that away, I was sure my overwhelmed, and slightly clueless, expression would…

And without warning, standing there in the middle of the tool section, it happened. I caught the hardware bug, my creative bones humming at the new ideas growing bigger aisle by aisle.

That was all it took. From that point, I’m sure I became Bunnings best customer, taking fondly to the ability to create an online ‘Bunnings Wishlist’.

I had so many big ideas! But the first of many, was a hanging vegetable garden – earning a spot on the bucket list at #68. My firstĀ industrial project for the little white house.

With a old palette collected from the skip bin down the road where another house was being built at the time, a little Tarzan SuperGlue, screws and my newly acquired drill (possibly my favourite purchase since becoming somewhat of my own builder’s apprentice), I managed to construct a hanging garden shelf. Pulling every second wooden paling from the palette skeleton, I cut and glued it to the base of the existing palings. And with little tightening of a few screws, a whole lot of youtube instruction and some creative ingenuity, it was finished.

A true tradie would have laughed hysterically at me. But everyone has to start somewhere right? And I hadn’t sawed off a finger or glued myself to the wood – so I viewed that as being rather successful in my books.

A week later it was secured to the fence just outside the door to my butlers pantry and I filled it with a dozen herbs, a little bit of lavender (out of Igloo’s reach) and a couple of succulents for show. And I oddly had never been more proud of anything else as watched my little herbs grow to overflow their pots.

Now, even two years later, every time I eat my famous spaghetti bolognaise infused with fresh basil, oregano and chive, I feel just that little bit more accomplished and that little bit more in love with creating something of own.

And if that has you inspired for dinner tonight, I’ll leave the recipe below šŸ˜‰

#68: Build a hanging vegetable garden – check!

d x

Spaghetti Bolognaise
Ingredients:
– 500g Pork Mince (somehow just better than beef..)
– 425g Tomato Soup
– 140g Tomato Paste w/ Garlic and Herb
– Basil, Oregano + Chive (fresh is better, but from a jar will do too!)
– Pasta

Method:
1) Heat saucepan and cook pork mince on high until brown, removing excess water from pan if necessary.
2) Reduce heat + add in tomato soup, tomato paste and herbs
3) Leave to simmer + add Basil, Oregano and Chive to taste (I prefer a good pinch of all three!)
4) Serve with pasta

Servings:
4 people (or 2 + a delicious lunch for you both the next day!)

Happy cooking!

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2018: The little things.

Welcome to 2018. A fresh new 365 days to live boldly bolstered by the memories, triumphs and downfalls of those before it. I for one, feel like this new year caught seamlessly onto the last thread of 2017 and continued to weave it’s story. 2017 was a really good year for the most part, and I didn’t quite feel the need to “leave it behind” or run from it. I was ready to just simply keep on living, no matter its numerical standpoint in a calendrical world.

For the first time since K.B passed away, we celebrated new years. Not how we used to when she was here. There weren’t any midnight dashes down to the ocean to watch the fireworks from the shoreline, or planking competitions. We didn’t have a group of strangers turn up to the apartment to party with us, or spend the next day drowning in exhaustion and hot potato gems. No, it wasn’t like it used to be – though those new years will always be the most cherished.

Instead, I think after all these years, we were finally ready to celebrate it a new way. And I think she would be happy to know that in the midst of the fireworks, although we missed her still incredibly, we found a new way to love her and the bright sparks at the same time.

We welcomed 2018 in camping under the stars on the beach, something I know K.B would have approved of immensely. With a light breeze just strong enough to pierce through the summer balminess, we set a box of fireworks alight and watched them disperse in the black night sky above us. The ocean cooed in response, wildly crashing upon the sand and I took it all in.

With perhaps more clarity than I’ve ever had on a new years eve before, I realised I had been chasing this feeling of contentment all year long. My chest felt light and my thoughts were clear as I sat around the campfire listening to the campsites next door count down to last seconds. It was like taking a breath of air for the first time in a long time, and hitting an internal re-fresh. And in that moment that I knew just how much the little things matter.

Christmas last year showed me how to be present in the little things, and new years eve taught me what to do with them.

You see they tell you that it’s the little things that matter. And it’s true. They do.

But I think what matters more, is what you do with them.

Little things can be good, awe-inspiring, the start of the next big thing. But little things can also be sad, inconvenient, and sorrowing. Being present in those moments teaches you understand their significance, but it’s what you then choose to do with them that’s important.

Notice the things that make you happy, chase them and crave to find them in your mundane everyday routine. Remember them and cherish them. Don’t know where to find them? Start with that coffee your Mr. bought you on his way home from work, or the way your golden retriever spends ten minutes rolling around on his back for entertainment in a bliss all of his own. Then notice how a flower grows to face the sunlight, and how the little old man looked at his sweetheart on the park bench next to him. Find the little things that are good and let them guide you. There’s plenty of good left in the world to be found, you just have to let yourself see it.

And as for the little things that trouble you? Well, it’s easy. It always has been. Let them go.

I recently read a letter from a young woman who passed away last week after a long battle with cancer. She was only 25. In amongst the reflection* upon her life and the things she wished for herself and others, she remarked upon the little things.

She said that people spend too much time focusing on the little things that plague their minds with worry or heartache. And that it’s not until you’ve been given finite amount of time to live that you realise that those things aren’t what’s important.

When you’re told that there’s not much time left, you start to wish your biggest issue wasn’t that your body was giving up on you, but that instead it was just terrible traffic on your way to work this morning, or a bad night’s sleep.

Because the bottom line is that it shouldn’t matter if the hairdresser cut your hair too short, or you have cellulite on your arse – these are not the things that should consume you. These are small things. And they are insignificant in the big scheme of things.

She had it completely right. And I can’t help but want to take her last worldly advice and run with it. Because if there’s anything I think I’m starting to understand in this lifetime, it’s that true happiness stems from gratitude. And I think gratitude comes from knowing how to deal with the little things. So that’s where I’m starting.

This year, it’s about the little things. And I truely think this is the biggest lesson you could Ā ever learn. Learn it with me if you’d like!

Wishing you the best for 2018, always.

d x

[* Holly Butcher’s Reflection: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/dying-womans-inspirational-and-moving-final-letter-goes-viral/news-story/89c6036ccdcde5c0522a23a5c10265ebĀ %5D