What a great day! I woke early (actually I was woken by my teenage son who, for some strange reason, dragged his carcass out of bed so he could get on the computer early...it just shows, give them the right motivation and they can do anything)! I made some bread dough and left it to rise while I went out to mow the grass. It was a really good idea to get that job done before the heat peaked - I think it reached 31 degrees today.
I did two loads of laundry and hung them out on my rotary clothes line. It was very peaceful out in the backyard, shaded by my huge walnut tree as I hung out the fresh-smelling clothes. I don't take a peaceful neighbourhood for granted these days. Last year, I had a problem with one of my neighbours. Their 9 year old son was using their backyard, which is right next to ours, as a dirt bike circuit and the noise was driving me crazy. A couple of calls to the appropriate authority resulted in a visit and (touch wood) that annoying habit seems to have stopped. Funny how my family tell me my hearing isn't that good but repetitive noise just gets me irritable or even angry very quickly.
Later that morning, I finished making and baking the bread and also made soup for dinner, as I was going to be out all afternoon and needed to have something prepared in advance. The soup was a recipe I invented and it's rather good - it reminds me of canned Heinz tomato soup that I had as a child - tasty and thick - but without the excess salt etc that they no doubt put in it.
Toss into a pan or pressure cooker:
one large can crushed tomatoes
6 cups vegetable stock
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 chopped carrots
half a cup of red lentils
Cook until the carrots are soft and blend it up so the kids can't see the vegetables and you're done!
I almost forgot to mention that I had a visit from a member of a certain religious organisation this morning and I finally found the assertiveness I needed to say, "No thank you" to their leaflet. (Funny, we were discussing this very thing at our girls night last week.) It occurred to me that by refusing the leaflet, I am reducing the paper that will be going into my recycling bin, which is a good thing!
This afternoon, our homeschool support group met at a friend's mum's house. She lives in a beautiful area of the city and has a backyard pool, and we spent a few happy hours there enjoying the company of our friends. I wish I had photos to show you, but the batteries in my digital camera obviously had so little power that it couldn't even tell me to "Change the Batteries".
After arriving home from that outing and eating our tomato soup and fresh bread and salad, K and I had to go out once again for our Taekwondo class. It was a challenging class, partly because two teens were there who are ready to move up to black belt and the instructor was making us do all our patterns so that he could assess the two boys, followed by some hot and heavy sparring at the end of which we were all dripping!
At the end of the class, the two boys stayed on to complete the requirements for junior black belt, first Dan. They had to answer a number of questions related to the history of Taekwondo, the meanings of patterns, the student/instructor relationship, etc. They had to demonstrate all their kicks and other techniques that they've learned since white belt. And the part we were all looking forward to - the board-breaking.
Only teens and adults, green belt and above, break boards. I have broken one at a time myself with a palm strike, knifehand and various kicks. It gives you an amazing sense of power! These two guys were faced with stacks of two and three boards this evening. One of the kicks was a flying side kick over a line of pads. Whilst I felt some sympathy for the boys doing the kicking, especially when they failed to break the boards and the pain and frustration was obvious, I also felt for the guys who had to hold the boards! More than once, someone's fingers were smushed! I don't know whether those boys passed their test - they won't find out until later - but watching them really motivated me to work hard in the next year so that when I face the same test I will be ready, all of the information in my head and the physical ability to do everything that I need to do.
In the meantime, K and I test next Thursday for our black stripe so it's back to the manual for some studying.
And finally (because it's getting late and this is a really long post) my latest Ecoholic action plan is to make myself some cloth menstrual pads. I have been using a Keeper for years but continued using those thin little pads for heavy days...well, I intend to stop buying them...another little action to cut down on the pollution of the planet!