The Birds and Bees

Our house is never silent. There are the yappy poms, chatty Finn, meowling cats and in addition I tend to always have music on in the background. Even when I sit in the garden I put on music. One day my Spotify was acting up and so I turned it off to go sit outside and watch my birds and I noticed all of the sounds of nature around me.

There is always the backdrop of birds singing in the garden, so much so that I realised I barely hear them. I can often hear horses from across the valley, confused roosters crowing throughout the day, the large ibis making their ‘hadeda’ screech and geese honking. I noticed the bees buzzing around my lavender plants and was happy that my plants can nurture them. I heard a funny little noise and saw a pair of hummingbirds flitting around the honeysuckles and I realised why they are called hummingbirds, they hum!! Yes I am an idiot. I just closed my eyes and listened. Considering I live in a village there is so much nature around me.

Then on Friday when I went out onto my little hill to do my morning prayers I looked down and spotted a perfectly formed beautiful little mushroom. The spiritual Lisa asks, is this a message? What does it mean? Pay attention to the little things? I should have eaten the mushrooms in my dinner from the night before even though I had asked the restaurant to exclude them? I’ve been living in the dark? But the practical Virgo Lisa asks is it simply that we have laid new grass and compost and we have had a lot of rain and nature is just naturing. Feck knows.

The weather has been dreadful all week, icy cold and a lot of rain. The rain is good for the earth, fills the dams and encourages the mushrooms but not so fun for us humans that usually spend a lot of time outside. We built a big fire every night and all of the animals piled on to snuggle.

While I am working I always keep the door open and Norm kept telling me to close the door and that would help. But I love the fresh winter air and so does my boy.

Norm did a grocery shop on Monday and I was so relieved as I was fed up with take outs and my body was craving some vegetables. That night I cooked some lovely kingklip he had bought. Kingklip is a South African fish which has a firm meaty texture and is not at all fishy in flavour. I marinated it in loads of garlic and black pepper and then fried it for about 3 minutes each side, chucking on some lemon at the end and a bit of butter to get some colour on it. I pan fried the asparagus in the same flavours of garlic, lemon and butter. The sweet potatoes were air fried for 20 minutes. A quick and easy meal and very nutritious and low carb (other than the sweet potatoes, yes I know that).

Norm had also bought some minced beef and the following night I fancied a burger. First I pan fried some bacon. Then I made the beef patties by adding an egg, lots of garlic, seasoning, worcestershire & soy sauce and forming into balls, then I fried them in the bacon fat until browned. I topped with emmentaler cheese & crispy bacon and served them with half an avocado, a drizzle of low carb mayo and a spoonful of chopped chili. I cooked the sweet potato fries for 20 minutes in the air fryer. I did not miss the bun / bread at all as it was very tasty and delicious.

On Wednesday I had a pork roast to cook and I marinated it in lots of garlic, pepper and teriyaki sauce then baked it for just over half an hour. I cooked the other half of the packet of sweet potatoes, again in the air fryer. I steamed a big bag of baby broccoli and doused it in lemon. It was all delicious.

On Thursday afternoon the dog behaviourist we had booked from DogHubSA came to meet Finn. She did not have any innovative brilliant ideas she just gave us guidance on the specific behaviours we want to resolve. She did give some good advice and alternatives to deal with these things and we will try them to see if he stops annoying the other animals. He is such a loving intelligent boy and she seemed to really love him.

When she asked about the large water gun by my desk and I told her we point it at the poms to stop them from barking she was horrified. We do not actually shoot them, just a glimpse is enough. Not her style but I do not have time when I am in an online meeting to go and find a toy to distract them but I can subtly reach out for a water gun and shake it in their general direction. Needs must.

On Thursday we used Mr D to order dinner. In the ‘allergy notes’ section I specifically asked for no mushrooms or red peppers on my nachos but they arrived covered in them so I only ate the chips as mushrooms were sliming all over the dish. Yuck. I raised a complaint on the app but they said without photographic evidence of my issue they would not credit me. Basically they told me they do not believe me so I went a bit mental on them. I got my credit but it left me annoyed.

On Friday Massimo’s posted a thirst trap image on their page. No, not a sexy, half naked fireman slinging around his hose, but a rich looking pork dish perfect for an ice cold night. Food is my love language. “Pork ‘stufata’: slow cooked pork casserole in a porcini and field mushroom sauce and a touch of cream, served with roast seasonal veg & crushed baby potatoes.” I think this image brought people out from under rocks, out of their caves, from other towns….. who knows where they all came from but when Norm arrived Massimo’s staff were turning people away because they were so busy! Those who pre-booked were in luck. Us locals know that a weekend or a night when the staff sing you must book if you want a table. Norm patiently waited for the prized take-away boxes and once home we wolfed it down. I think I have seen this dish described on their specials before but the mention of mushrooms (TWO types no less!) had put me off, but in actuality I seldom realised it was a mushroom it was just ‘sauce’. The pork was lean and tender, the sauce was rich and almost smoky? Paprika maybe? Yum I realllllllly loved this dish and will indulge again next weekend if it is on the specials.

Work has been a bit stressful in that I feel rather unsupported and that things are not very ‘agile‘ as it takes ages to make decisions which impact the timelines, and often some of these decisions mean doing things over and over without any extension to the timelines, but hopefully things will settle soon. I need clarity and transparency if I am to understand the solution in order to test it properly. My stress and intolerance may have been exacerbated by my high levels of back pain. My gorgeous new desk chair has knackered my back. I am in a lot of pain and am unable to bend, so I have had to retire my beautiful chair for now and move back to my ugly but comfy and ergonomic one. I will have to decide what to do about it but I cannot be in agony just to look cute (and THAT is why I do not wear heels. Nope.) I have scratched the pleather on the arm so I cannot return it.

On top of that I just ordered a new rug to go under my new chair as it was catching on my old rug (which works perfectly fine with the old chair). Can everyone say money pit?

I also received the outside cushions I ordered from Mr Price. They notified me on the day of shipping that only 3 of the 6 I had ordered were available. I asked them to refund me for all and not send half the order but they said ‘oops too late they are on the way.’ It took an additional 2 days to arrive so I smell BS. I have already ordered a whole set of 6 in another design so now I have to take some of those back too.

Last weekend I watched ‘Elvis‘, the Baz Lurhman film. Anyone who knows me should know that I love Elvis so I was a bit trepidatious about seeing it, but Austin Butler did an absolutely brilliant job in his portrayal as a young Elvis.

My favourite scene was him writhing around on stage singing Trouble and then getting arrested. The Heat Huntyyyy. Meow. Tom Hanks did a brilliant job as Colonel Tom the Human Toad. He got that mix of Dutch and American deep South accents just right. I foresee some awards for at least one of them. It was really sad but it reflected reality according to what Priscilla allegedly said in the press. Anyway, watch it. I give it 5 Kitten Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Norm and I started a new series on Netflix called “I Just Killed My Dad“. As usual we are watching an ep at a time and therefore have not finished it so no spoilers please. From what I have seen so far it tells the tale of a young boy who had lived a horrendous life and eventually killed his father. I won’t give anything else away but as painful as this is to watch I do recommend it.

On Monday Lola kitty has to have some little sun damage spots burned off of her nose so please spare her a prayer or a happy thought?

Today I had a long lie drinking coffee with my poorly little Panda in bed with me. Mzudumo is here working with Norm on the back garden project and I am now going to go back outside and drink in both the sunshine and a nice mug of creamy coffee. I will catch up with Drag Race this afternoon once I get too much sun and come inside.

I hope you enjoy your weekend. Until next time, keep safe and avoid the plague and the ‘pox!

Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxo

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