01 August 2015

How Do Housewives, Without Kids, Spend Their Day?

I am not really sure how do other housewives (without children) spend their day because my experience with them is very limited apart from plain observation. 
I only got to observe my mother, my sisters, my friends and my neighbors but all of them have kids so eventually I can say that most of their time is spent on 
tending their kids and doing things for the kids. 

(via http://rhrealitycheck.org)

Recently I was able to spend a few days with a friend who has no children and I wonder what does she do alone when her husband is out for work ( I assume that couple without children does things together most of the times -like my husband and me)
Then it occurred to me to share what I do since I have been hearing people asking whether or not I am bored staying at home alone.

So here's how I usually spend my day.

1. Cooking. Before marriage, I seldom cook back at home. It was usually my mother or my other sisters who did though I know a little bit of it and sometimes I helped. So being married and the one who has to cook is not a big deal for me. My husband and I don't like to have house helpers. We just don't want to be dependent on somebody doing the things we can do ourselves. As a matter of fact, it is always good to be able to do most of the things there is to do. So I cook every day for both of us.

Cooking is not a major activity for me. I only cook one major meal every day. Yes, one major cooking! What I mean with "major" cooking is that I get to cook what most people call "meal", which could be a rice dish, a roti-sabji dish, a fried item and chutney dish, etc.... something that makes you turn on the stove and keep it that way for about an hour or even more. What about the rest of the day? Well, we generally have fruits (whatever is in season) and vegetables like cucumber or carrots and nuts plus a plant milk or plain coffee in between.

So that's my cooking activity.

Update: We have adopted a dog named Kalu. I cook him his food, and sometimes when his friends are around, the cooking becomes frequent. Adopted means, he comes and goes though he usually spends the night with us. He's thought to have been abandoned, arrived 3 months before we came. Now he found a home with us.

2. Washing Clothes. I do this every day to avoid number. You know, the frequent I wash the less there is to wash. I hand wash with minimum use of locally-made soap. It gives a better result than a washing machine, and of course, we try to minimize our carbon footprint as much as possible.

And yeah, my husband sometimes washes his own clothes. (He didn't marry so another person will do things he can do himself, says him...haha).

3. Cleaning. My cleaning includes sweeping and mopping the floor, which only lasts for about half an hour.  Our house is small and there is not much to clean because we don't have many appliances and furniture. We keep it that way because we like to move around and see different places, mostly in rural areas around India, so carrying heavy loads would be tough.

4. Browsing the internet. Wherever we move we see to it that the place has an internet connection. Both of us just couldn't do without it. My husband checks mails, reads news and articles, downloads songs, movies and other stuff, among other things from the internet itself. When he goes for OPD, the broadband is entirely mine. I blog in HubPages, which I have not done in a long time because I am focusing on this one. I post, comment, share stuff on Facebook. I search for interesting stuff. Recently I am into vegan recipes to try some at home. I check emailss, I watch videos, I readthe news and other articles, too! I also play Scrabble on Facebook with two of my friends and a few random opponents.

So I considered spending time on the internet to be my major activity every day. And while I am doing all these I usually have a company...music! What kind of music I listen to? That will be another entry? Lol!

5. Gardening. I spend time gardening. We have quite a space in front of our house. Most are flowering plants like zinnia, gaillardia, lilies, marigold, cosmos, etc. Some are vegetables like mint, pumpkin, tomatoes, cucumber, and amaranth.

Gardening is rejuvenating. It makes me happy...a time to reconnect myself with nature without going out farther from our gate.

6. Studying. Yep, you read it right. I enrolled myself in higher education -Masters in Anthropology through Distance Education at IGNOU. It's not really needed but it's good to have another. So I spend at least an hour reading the study materials which my study center has sent me.

These days, I am busy doing the required assignment.

Getting a degree or a higher degree is something I recommend to everyone. We live in a world where money works and the best to have that is to have a degree that the society believes is needed for you to get a job.

7. Crocheting. You must have browsed my crochet stuffs and yes, I do crocheting. I learned it through the internet, from people who share their knowledge on it for free. Knitting is on the list to learn.

8. Learning to Play the Keyboard. This is something that I need to get on schedule because I usually skip this one. There are really so many things to do in life that if I could get a few extra hours I would be glad to take it. But, reality check...can't have extra hours so management is the answer.
This is something I have to do so my brain gets a boost. Learning a new skill is always good for the memory...you know, to wave off dementia.

9. Photography. This is one favorite that is done when needed like when a leopard or a barking deer appears from the jungle. Or when a butterfly or a bird or a langur hangs around the corner. Generally, photography is done when we go for a trek or short and long distance walk. So when we don't do that, it's our food that gets photographed, and sometimes the dogs in the neighborhood.

10. Sewing. My mother is a seamstress and I learned sewing from her, which I am glad I did. I mend clothes, I stitch cloth bags for our marketing, too. I recently stitched a window curtain for our bedroom. I used our old bed sheets, two of them patched together for thickness. All but small sewing work and not everyday.

These activities are impossible to be done in one single day together especially during our market days. Every 3 or 4 days, my husband and I walk for 2.5 kilometers to get some stuffs from the market and this will take us an hour to 1 1/2 hour, a little shorter if we are able to get a ride back home, which is seldom (It's the nature of this place and we can't do anything about it except buy our own car or leave this place, but we choose to deal with the situation happily).

So there they are...hope you didn't get tired of reading it. Lol!

How about you? Any new activities you could probably share here?

Rosette: The Spots in Jaguar or Leopard's Skin

Well, I didn't know that though I've been wondering.
Now I know!
It is called rosette.
 Rosette...Roxette the band...now I won't forget!
Now you know, too.
A very conspicuous in this photo below!

~photo via wwf.panda.org~
rosette is a rose-like marking or formation found on the fur and skin of some animals, particularly cats of the family Felidae. Rosettes are used to camouflage the animal, either as a defense mechanism or as a stalking tool. Predators use their rosettes to simulate the different shifting of shadows and shade, helping the animals to remain hidden from their prey. Rosettes can be grouped in clusters around other spots or may appear as blotches on the fur. Rosettes can appear with or without central spots.
The following felids have rosettes:
~Ocelot (via ocelotak.weebly.com)~

  • Lion - Generally, rosettes are present on lion cubs only, but some adult lions may retain them on the face. Rosettes also appear in lion/tiger hybrids (ligers and tiglons).

~Mountain lion cub (via www.balancedecology.org)~

Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosette_(zoology)

In the medical field, there is a thing called Leopard Syndrome or Multiple lentigines syndrome, a condition which affects many parts of the body and features brown skin spots or lentigines resembling that of freckles. More info regarding this syndrome here.

31 July 2015

Sicilian Pumpkin Fry: Simple Yet Delicious Dish To Try

First of all, pumpkin was never my favorite and neither of my husband's. It is a vegetable that is bought in slices, not whole, not even in kilo when I was in the Philippines. 
Here in India, I have become an almost fruitarian -I really have no problem with fruits, 
in fact, I love them. 
Looking at a variety of colorful fruits makes me smile and want to grab them all...lol! 

Because my husband and I are mostly fruitarians, our vegetable intake was on the lower side of the menu. But when we became vegan, we try to balance things out since we cannot neglect the nutritional benefits of eating vegetables. 
And since pumpkin seeds are our favorite, the only way to get them is by asking veggie vendors to give the seeds to us, which many are giving for free, or get the whole pumpkin itself. 
The problem in getting a whole one is that it may get spoiled before we can finish the whole thing (we don't have a fridge, so). 
Though "wasting" is not the issue because we can always give a portion to cows, we avoid it altogether as much as possible. 

So we decide to buy the whole pumpkin itself (it would be impolite to keep on asking for the seeds and never buy the entire vegetable...lol). And a little bit of trivia, many people started eating pumpkin seeds after they knew that Dr. Saab is taking them for eating...haha, funny!

Anyway, I have been experimenting dishes, something I am glad about my husband because he is the one who encourages me to try things out. According to him, we'll never know how something tastes like unless we try it.
So trying is what I do. If the dish turns out good, we may be making it again. If not, then it's an experience.

Sicilian Pumpkin Fry turns out to be a keeper and it's a dish that is highly recommended.

~mint leaves are in plenty in our garden~

Here's what are required:

1. Mature pumpkin, 1/2 kilo or more
2. Salt to taste
3. Vinegar, much for taste
4. Garlic, plenty, crushed
5. Olive oil, much (3-5 tbsp.) depending on how much pumpkin slices there are
6. Mint leaves, fresh, finely chopped

How to do it?

1. Wash the pumpkin thoroughly especially the skin. Never discard the skin, it's full of nutrients.
2. Slice pumpkin into 2-3 inches long and make thin slices out of these. Keep aside.
3. Peel and crush garlic. The more the better because garlic gives the best aroma and taste in this dish.
4. When garlic is ready to be used (after 20 minutes since crushing), heat a short and wide pan for frying.
5. Add a tbsp. of olive oil at a time. When the oil is hot enough, pour in some garlic and a few slices of pumpkin. Stir and make sure all slices get cooked. Avoid getting them scorched. Remove whichever becomes brown.
6. Taking your judgment, when every slice of pumpkin seems cooked enough (a little roasting is fine), remove from the pan and transfer to a big bowl. Keep aside.
7. Repeat the process from 5 to 6 till all pumpkin slices are done.
8. Next, before removing the last batch of fried pumpkin, you can re-heat the previous slices along with it or you can just mix all right away.
9. In the big bowl, add salt and vinegar. Mix well.
10. Pour in chopped mint leaves. Mix well. Check the saltiness and sourness. Generally, you might need to add more of both salt and vinegar to get the biting taste.

~same photo above only that this one is taken with a flash~
Serve while still hot.

~ Some people make it with cinnamon bark and sugar to make a sweet and sour variation. I tried that, too. It's tasty also.
~ Out of the 5.5 kilo pumpkin that we bought 2 weeks back, I made Sicilian Pumpkin Fry twice, pumpkin bread once, pumpkin soup once, and chocolate pumpkin cake once (which is still available while I am writing this...lol)
~ The seeds just got dry after 4 days of sun drying and will be roasted, without oil, tomorrow.
~ You will never regret trying this dish out.


28 July 2015

The Most Expensive Flower in The World

Kadupul Flower gained the first rank among the most expensive flowers in the world because it cannot be plucked without causing damage to it. The flower can take a year to bloom and only over a single night, which means it dies out before dawn the following day. 
In Japan, this flower has a rich history. 
It is known there as Gekka Bijin or "Beauty under the Moon".

To read more about Kadupul Flower or Epiphyllum oxypetalum, click here. More about the world's most expensive flowers here.