Isn’t she pretty?
The noises were quite possibly caused by Me Not Taking Very Good Care of My Old Kettle. Yes, I may be guilty of ongoing kettle abuse I’m afraid. You see, I don’t drink coffee and I only drink tea on the rarest of occasions. About now, you’re probably starting to wonder what I use a kettle for at all aren’t you? Well, apart from obviously needing one for when I have Coffee and Tea Drinking People over (or making jelly as I do like the occasional Frog in a Pond), earlier this year I was reading an article espousing the benefits of drinking warm water with lemon juice squeezed into it, so I thought I’d give it a go. I’ve noticed some really positive changes so I now do it every morning.
I’ve been having monthly massages for the last 15 years to help prevent migraines but last year I was getting a migraine once a month (thanks to my hormones… and trust me when I say there is no such thing as Migraine Joy) but since I’ve been drinking the lemon water, I haven’t had a migraine for six months which has been wonderful. I’m sure it’s not just due to the lemon juice as I’m also taking some natural tablets to help keep my hormones under control (as well as still having the massages) but I’ve definitely noticed other benefits as well so I’m going to continue to support the Lemon Growers of Queensland.
So since February, I’ve been using my kettle Every Single Day and as I hate wasting water and electricity, I only put enough water in the kettle to fill a bit more than one glass.
Apparently kettles don’t like that very much.
Apparently you’re supposed to fill the water up past a certain point.
Anyway, what isn’t needy or high maintenance is My Fabulous Lemon Squeezer. Isn’t he gorgeous? (Do not ask why the kettle is female and the lemon squeezer is male, some things just cannot be explained.)
Although my garlic press is also pretty impressive.
And I do hold my egg rings in high regard.
A few weekends ago I was shopping with a friend (I can still look and help others to buy Lovely Things!) and I saw the cutest heart shaped egg rings and was Very Tempted to buy them. But, as I already have perfectly adequate – albeit, non-heart creating shaped - egg rings, I resisted the urge.
Another The Year of More success.
By the way, a slice of capsicum makes a yummy edible egg ring.
See, I told you they’re needy.
I kid you not, I have used a kettle more in the last six months than I have in the last 10 years.
Without blowing it up. Melting it. Or setting off any safety switches.
Because, sadly, I have a bit of a history with Blowing Things Up. Melting Things. And Setting Off Safety Switches.
A few years ago someone gave me a very cute teddy bear shaped wheat bag. Ted was red with white piping around his edges. What I discovered when searching for images of teddy bear shaped wheat bags is that there are some seriously scary looking teddy bear shaped wheat bags out there.
Was being the operative word I’m afraid.
Yes, I confess that I murdered Ted.
Well, technically I set him on fire.
And then dismembered him.
It was a tragedy of massive proportions.
I was one of Those Silly People who don’t follow the simple rules written on Large Pieces of Paper accompanying such purchases. You know, the Large Pieces of Paper which warn you Not To Do Certain Things?
One night I had a sore shoulder and Ted was doing a wonderful job of easing my aches and pains. But I popped him back in the microwave for another few minutes of zapping when he was still warm (one of the Things You Shouldn’t Do with a wheat bag according to the Large Piece of Paper).
And he literally burst into flames.
I quickly opened the microwave door and grabbed the jug Ted was sitting in - and in My First Wild Burst of Panic, I put the jug under the tap and sort of drowned him and then My Second Wild Burst of Panic took hold and I grabbed Ted’s non-burning arm and swung him around the room.
His arm came off in my hand.
Little pieces of wet singed wheat flew everywhere.
There wasn’t an inch of kitchen floor that wasn’t completely covered in what had once been Ted.
I have only bought boring rectangular shaped wheat bags since then. I just couldn’t bear (no pun intended) the thought of murdering another cute animal-shaped one.
So you’re probably thinking that I should have packed up and moved to live in a tent after I’d slaughtered poor Ted.
But no, apparently there were further Electrical Disasters awaiting me that I needed to experience.
Electrical Appliance Disaster Confession No. 2:
One night I was cooking a piece of chicken on my George Foreman Health Grill and don’t ask me why but I never fully trusted that George would cook things evenly on both sides – no offence George - so I would always turn the chicken over half way through. But this time, I neglected to move the cord completely out of the way of the hotplate when I closed the lid.
And after the safety switch kicked in yet again, I discovered George Foreman’s cord had caught fire.
And my chicken was a tad overcooked.
At that point, perhaps going to live with the Amish wouldn’t have been such a bad idea.
Electrical Appliance Disaster Confession No. 3:
Yes, there’s another one.
A different house this time though. And no, I didn’t relocate because my previous abode burnt to the ground.
One sunny Sunday morning I was cleaning the kitchen.
'How can this possibly be an electrical disaster?’, I hear you ask?
My kitchen was quite small so I would generally move everything to the dining table while I cleaned the benches, but on this particular day the table was covered in a creative project of some description so I moved my food processor onto the stovetop.
Which was obviously turned off.
At that moment at least.
Anyhoo, I must have knocked the knob and turned the hotplate on and then trooped off to clean the bathroom while the kitchen benches dried.
I came back out 20 minutes later to find the bottom of the food processor melted onto the hotplate.
I have, of course, owned electrical appliances that haven’t been blown up or melted or set fire to.
I really have.
Although, I’m sure by now you understand why I’m rather hesitant to buy a slow cooker.
And it’s fairly obvious why this isn’t a blog about cooking ☺
There may have also been an incident involving a Bunsen burner in high school science class but thankfully the details are a little bit fuzzy after all this time…
I have long hair that seems to Not Want to Stay on My Head so every morning I use a high voltage dustbuster to vacuum up the Little Hairy Escapees covering my bathroom floor.
Karen’s Electrical Appliance Tip No. 1: the lower voltage dustbusters are absolute crap; invest in a good one. And yes, I do realise after what I’ve just disclosed, you may not see me as the most reliable source of Electrical Appliance Tips but trust me on this one.
So my dustbuster and I had been cohabitating happily for a few years when all of a sudden he decided he wanted out of our relationship.
He just stopped working.
During the The Year of More.
And as synchronicity would have it, a week or so earlier I just happened to read an article about the feng shui benefits of sweeping. It was more specifically referring to sweeping outside your front door but I decided that sweeping my bathroom floor every morning would work just as well.
So I spent $2 on a dustpan and brush for the bathroom.
Sweeping may not seem very exciting and that’s the whole point - as well as being a way of bringing positive feng shui energy into your home, it’s also one of those mundane activities which can lead to more mindfulness.
The process of bending down to pick up a dustpan and then spending a quiet minute or two brushing up all those Little Hairy Escapees into a neat little creepy hair-filled pile, is something which brings me completely into The Moment every morning.
My dustbuster activity used to be noisy and over with in about 15 seconds but achieving the same result with a dustpan and small brush is a completely different experience.
I went to the School of Philosophy in Brisbane almost every week for four years and we often spoke about being mindful while doing everyday tasks – washing the dishes, brushing your teeth or locking the door. These are little things that actually make a big difference.
Being present helps to slow down our minds.
It helps us to focus.
It helps to eliminate stress.
It helps to increase self-awareness.
It helps us to remember.
Do you know why we ponder whether we’ve locked the door or turned the iron off? Because these are tasks we perform mechanically without really thinking about them. If you were mindfully doing the ironing, you would never stop to think about whether you’ve turned the iron off or not. Because you would remember doing it.
Imagine how different things would be on the road if drivers were more mindful. People would stop dying needlessly.
Imagine how different our relationships would be if we were more mindful of our actions and our words. Being mindful prevents some of the knee-jerk reactions we often run with.
And let’s face it, if I’d been more mindful, the aforementioned wheat bag, health grill and food processor may have all lived much longer and happier inanimate lives.
I would also like to share this story… it’s about a dog who melted a laptop which was left sitting on a stovetop. I kid you not.
Be careful. Be mindful. Be your fabulously unique self.
‘Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).’ James Baraz