We all need some days off in our lives where we can just be at home and just…be! No socializing, no shopping, no movies at the multiplex or clubbing. A stay-in-your-jammies-and-read-a-book kinda day. Yesterday was one such rarity for me. Freelancers mostly have no real holidays or weekends. Any day could be a work day or weekend. But of late, I’ve been keeping busy because of work and some emergent situations at home too. I realize I haven’t been posting much lately and am also going trough a writing slump, because there is no time to sit down and think of anything to write about. It’s been a pretty tiring and overworked two weeks. But yesterday (thank God for yesterday), I spent some time relaxing and doing my favorite things.
Here’s a round-up of what my favorite to-dos are on days off –
I puttered around with the pots in my balcony. I had purchased some new plants and some old ones needed repotting or pruning. A lot of them had gotten tall and leggy, so I went crazy in the a.m. over the pots, turning the soil, adding manure and sprinkling some much needed H2O on some that I had neglected. Two hours later, I was a proud balcony gardener. Here are some plants at my place. Pardon the mess; I had yet to tidy up the balconies.
Have you seen a happier-looking flower than a Gerbera bloom?
I love how happy these flowers always look. Their open faces, bright colors and forgiving nature remind me of how we should be in life. The Dahlia is the only other flower with as happy a face, but they are fussy plants. Ugh… had two, both of them died, no matter how much I cared for them.
Oh, and Pansies and Asters come a close third, but they are annuals and die out soon.
Philosophically though, they make an excellent example of mortality. Everything must come to an end when their time comes. So must these beautiful flowers.
Later in the day, me and my daughter sat down again for some painting. I’ve mentioned before how she loves to paint and how she and I sometimes spend afternoons doing just that. At this point I should probably inform you that she has slowly graduated from making mere squiggles to trying to paint within outlines. Painting is a sure way of keeping her busy for at least an hour, which in toddler world, is a major feat, given how they have the attention span of ants.
Some of you had requested the last time that I put up her work too. So here they are. They aren’t much to look at yet but she’s getting there, slowly but surely.
This is what I ended up making. Obviously the potting done earlier in the day affected my doodling as well.
Finally the day ended with me baking a Rum Cake. Now I know this is a Holiday Cake but I had some rum lying around the house and a hankering for something sweet, and a husband who was grumbling about how I haven’t baked in a while. So there it was. The much anticipated Rum Cake. Forgive me for the bad picture and the wrong pan. I didn’t have a Bundt Pan big enough to accommodate the batter. Also, people (read Husband-Daughter Duo) got to it before I could take a decent picture. See, when a cake is baked in my household, there’s these people nibbling away at it even before it has cooled down. My stern looks and dire warnings obviously don’t work on the Duo
The result is a cake that looks like it has been attacked by mice.
It came out alright, not so spongy though. Boy, did I botch up the recipe! Most recipes I read required a yellow cake mix and vanilla pudding to be added to the batter. Since I wanted to go au naturel, I decided I would bake it from scratch. The results weren’t too pleasing. Lesson learnt – it’s better to do it the commercial way sometimes in baking
The homemade butter I had, had gone bad because of a change in refrigerators. So I had to substitute it with oil and commercial salted butter (yuck!) Then the egg whites would not peak. Forget peaking, they would not rise at all!! Probably because I got too industrious with the beating. I knew this cake was doomed then. 😦
To make it worse, the recipe required me to use granulated sugar. But because the recipe said not to over-beat the batter, the sugar could not dissolve completely. The result – there were undiluted grains of sugar poking through the cake. Oh, the horror! 😥
It tasted alright though. More like a normal pound cake than a rum cake. I realized I should not have skipped on the rum glaze, but I couldn’t help it. I had run out of both rum and butter to make the glaze. The star shape of the cake was a hit with my daughter though. So that’s some consolation 🙂
Maybe I should write more of baking fails on this blog from now on! 😀 😀 😀
So this was a peek into a day in my life doing my favorite things. It was a great day, filled with some happy memories, peace and quiet and lots of creativity. I wish I could have more of such laid back days, but life’s not a piece of cake. Ha!
How did you all spend your days? I realize that many of you are busy folks with jobs and other things to worry about. But you must get weekends or someday off. Tell me how you like to spend it. You know the weekend is almost here. Do you have something planned? Is there something you wish to do on such days but haven’t been able to accomplish? I’d love to hear it all 🙂 ❤
Have a Great & Happy Friday!
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