Cor blimey! See how much she's grown!
Happy birthday to my Grumbles! Although your entry into the world wasn't the happiest, I'd do it all over again in a moment, in a flash, in a heartbeat, without a second thought, because the last few years have truly been the very best of my life.
This month has been offically declared by the Jorth household as The Month of Frugality. That's right - we're being tight-arses for a month! It came about a few weeks ago, when the Galumph and I were paying bills, thinking about our savings plan and having a moan and groan about money in general, and in particular our lack of it. Then I came up with the most sterling idea - how much money would we have left at the end of the month if we did nothing but paid for rent, bills and food?
Eeeek! It's been too long. The last week has been really crap. The Galumph's step-grandfather passed away in the UK, all alone in his house, and it was a few days before he was found. Such a sad and lonely death. My heart goes out to him.
The Galumph, his sister, and their father are the only family this man had left, and even then it was only by marriage (he's Galumph's father's step-dad), so the task fell to me to write his obituary. How do you write about somebody you've never even seen a photo of, let alone met? I hope I did him justice. Ever since his wife passed away a few years ago, it has been his wish to die so he can be with her, so at least it's some comfort knowing that it finally happened. God preserve me from such a lonely end.
As you can imagine, there's been a lot to organise. Circumstances being as they are, there's going to be a coroner's report done, so Galumph's dad has flown over to the UK to deal with that. We have no idea when the actual funeral will be, because apparently in the town he's in, there's a bit of a backlog of cremations. Who knew? Gah, it's all such a ghastly mess. I've spent the last few days trying to locate real estate agents, auction houses etc in his town, as everything will need to be sold and packed up. His whole life, neatly folded away by strangers. It'll be like he was never there. The thought breaks my heart.
I was intending to do some blog wittering, but it doesn't really feel right anymore. Too light-hearted for a post like this. Maybe tomorrow. I'm off to cuddle my Grumbles now.
Don't worry, it wasn't the spunk above. He was a lovely gent that I met at a wedding a few months ago. He had such a wonderful smile that I couldn't help but snap a photo. And he danced like a dream!
I'm off to a 63rd birthday party at a Russian restaurant tonight. Should be fun, especially with all the courses we're being served up. Borscht, here I come!
Anyhow, if you've got the time, and have a couple of beetroot kicking around the bottom of the fridge drawer, give it a burl. Then you can have the fun of serving a slice to somebody, and then stand next to them in a completely maddening way and demand they figure out the magic ingredient. The Galumph's best response was "Ummmm, chocolate?", bwahahahah!
200g (about 2) trimmed beetroot bulbs, washed
30g (1/4 cup) cocoa powder
60ml (1/4 cup) hot water
200g (1 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly whisked
125ml (1/2 cup) reduced-fat milk
60ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
225g (1 1/2 cups) self-raising flour, sifted
1 - Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a 7cm-deep, 11 x 21cm (base measurement) loaf pan with the melted butter to lightly grease. Line the base with non-stick baking paper.
2 - Put on rubber gloves, unless you really fancy having purple hands for the next couple of days. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the beetroot bulbs, then a grater to finely shred. Set aside.
3 - Place the cocoa and hot water in a medium bowl and stir until smooth. Add the sugar and eggs, and use a wooden spoon to beat until smooth. Stir in the beetroot.
4 - Combine the milk, oil and vanilla essence in a jug. Sift the flour into the cocoa mixture, then add the milk mixture.
Anyhow, undie confessions aside, it's going to be all sew sew sew here, and no buy buy buy. Not that I really buy much anyway, but it's always different when you know you can't. You suddenly find yourself with a wallet full of money and shops full of tempting clothes that normally you wouldn't consider. If I find myself tempted, I shall simply have to have a stern talking to myself, and march myself home to occupy my mind with some sort of activity. Maybe like darning my underpants. Eeeeew!
For those of you interested, have a read of the fascinating entry on No Impact Man about the impact of plastic on our environment. Shudder!
We're going to a bar mitzvah this weekend, for the Galumph's step-sister's son (hmm, complicated). And when I say this weekend, I mean for pretty much the entire weekend. Our weekend gone, gobbled up just like that! We've got the synagogue tomorrow, then a big reception on Sunday. Is that usual, for the BM to take an entire weekend?
Tell you what, it makes my pissy little first communion look a bit ordinary. I had to wear my sister's communion dress. I think it looked really nice on her, but she was petite and blonde with blue eyes. I was gangly and stick thin, with nothing coloured hair and the dress ended about half way down my calf, instead of gracefully sweeping the floor like it did for her. So my mum thought she'd dress me up a bit by making me wear sparkly silver socks with big clunky white school style shoes. Let me tell you, it didn't improve the look any. And to this day I remember how damnably itchy those horror socks were. In fact, in every photo I've got this scowl on my face, because my feet were being itched to death by them. Oh, the awful memories! And to top it all off I don't think we even did a fancy lunch afterwards. It was the same old sad Sunday sandwhiches, munched in front of The Wide World Of Sports, as per usual. I'm still bitter.
And no fancy presents, no siree. I received a nice picture of Jesus sitting next to the angel Gabriel, and a glow in the dark (I kid you not) Jesus statue which my brother promptly broke the hands off, so poor old Jesus glowed each night holding up his stumps. This step-nephew person has requested that we buy him two juggling tools at $75 a pop. Man, he's got a good deal. Much better than stumpy hands Jesus.
Anyway, the point of this post (besides being cheaper than therapy) was to ask all you wise peoples of the internet what does one write on a Bar Mitzvah card? "Happy Bar Mitzvah" sounds a bit lame. "You're now a man!" sounds a bit, um, pervy. "Just be glad you're not getting a crappy glow in the dark Jesus!" sounds a little bitter and scarred. Suggestions most welcome!