Writing with intent

I’ve probably blogged a few hundred posts in my mind over the last few months. I just haven’t had the time or been struck with enough gusto to sit down and get myself to write (or write and then post). 

Why? Why? Why?

Even this post is taking forever to write. 

Maybe I’m afraid? 

It’s only ever fear that stops us anyway. Right? 

I spent some quality time with one of the members of Our Lived Experience yesterday. I must say she really become a friend. We chatted about our lives and the books we’ve been wanting to pursue. We decided to go old school and dare each other to invest in writing our respective books. 🙂
I used to write during my episodes – I was filled either with elation or bitter anguish and it would fuel my writing. Now that I’m medicated – living in the realms of normal- I feel disheartened. To me, it feels as if I can’t connect with that higher writing power. You know when anything you write is pure gold?

But. There is hope. My friend, the wise one, Ilze, reminded me that writing itself is like a muscle and it needs to be exercised. I need to sit and write with intention. Like I’m doing now. Write with intent. Intent to create.  Intent to move and inspire. Intent to heal. To soothe. 

I’m surrounded by great writers, creators – and they urge me to bring out the best in all of my crafts. 

I have the support. 

I can do this. 

I was born to fly and to soar. 

See you on the flip side. 

Yve

Art therapy over the last week

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I painted this today. The chilli tree in my garden inspired me. It’s on A 4 cardboard- I was too scared to put it on the stretched canvas. But fears aside.  In this moment,I’m learning to nourish my inner child. I’ve always loved art, but never felt good enough to showcase any of my work.  It’s all coming back,  SLOWLY.
😉

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Shell ombre

This is a new line of items I want to make and sell like frames and other art work.

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Shell ombre

I’d appreciate your thoughts.

Yve

I can cook and make stuff too

Guys, I don’t only blog, I cook.

Since I’ve been at home, I’ve had the opportunity to explore my creative side when it comes to food. When I was younger I used to be quite the foodie. I remember specifically making a dish for my parents on a warm Saturday: grilled pork chops, on a plate that was decorated with cucumber slices and a sauce drizzled over, amateurish but from-the-heart-cooking. I loved that it was a form of art. The flavours that linger from that day were lemony, buttery, rosemary and thyme (from Robertson’s jars). Although I’ve grown since then in terms of size and life experience, I still maintain that cooking should be from the heart. My cooking explorations were encouraged by my parents- even to a point where my mother suggested I go to cooking school. The idea seemed romantic, but not tempting enough. I read some stats at the time, stating that about half of restaurants that open, close their doors in less than a year. I didn’t believe in myself, and I also believe other peoples’ wallets were going to keep my restaurant’s doors open. I did however think that one day I would open a coffee shop (Seems like less pressure), and call it Delene’s, after my step grandma. Since being a great grandma, we have opted to call her G.G, so maybe I’ll call my place Gigi. Anyway, my cooking influences are definitely from 3 distinct sources: my mother (duh) who cooks traditional coloured, cape malay food, my dad, who learnt to cook from his days in boy scouts and lastly everything FOOD on TV. I wouldn’t say that I adopt any cooking styles from other chefs, I love that they all are unique. I do however love the flavours they play with and I so adopt their taste sensations and fiddle with that until I’m happy. I love flavours dancing on my tongue, dance until finally settling down- buzzing from exhaustion. My cooking style is loud, neo-traditional (whatever that means), rich and sometimes echoes traces of simplicity.

More recently I realized that cooking is a way for me to relax, it calms my mood, so why not cook!

My favourite chefs growing up were Jamie Oliver (he was cute too, but then he got married and it was ruined)- I had the honour of going to one of his restaurants in Cambridge, England- LOVED IT, Rachel Ray (She made everything look so easy- more for working moms who had no time to cook), and that potjiekos making guy from Maak ‘n’ Las (Only South Africans can relate to this old TV show).

These days I don’t have time for cooking channels, but I do watch Masterchef (it’s a family evening tradition). I think it’s wonderful that homecooks are given the platform to become even better and more badass with flavours. More recently, chefs like Reuben Riffel and Jenny Morris make my heart skip a beat. They’re just the nicest people, and they live for cooking for their family, without that often intimidating title, ‘Chef’. They both extremely successfully South African chefs who cook honest, great food.

Below I’ve showcased some of the works of art I’ve prepared. I believe that love is in the detail and so all my attempts at decor or dishes, i’ve tried to think of small ways to put extra care into making it look good for the eye too!

For Christmas I decided to use red and white as the theme. I have these vine creeps in the garden and thought the touch of green would be a good break from too much of the main colours. I also made a layered jelly over 2 days to be my centre piece. The red Lindt chocolate and vines in the glass bowls were my mistletoe. Lastly, each table setting had a white card with either a baby foot print or hand or Cayden’s hearts painted in red. i personalized it so that each person could take theirs home.

10390543_10153499840558712_488901611647588508_n Gabriel's footprint Hearts galore

It doubled up as pudding! The creamy layers had condensed milk... Look, I won't lie, it flopped a bit, but I still loved the idea

It doubled up as pudding! The creamy layers had condensed milk… Look, I won’t lie, it flopped a bit, but I still loved the idea

mistletoe 10891534_10153499843193712_1373116813467813672_n

I also made turkey and gammon for the first time, ever. And blowing my own horn, I’ll say that everyone enjoyed it. It was so succulent. I got a recipe from my mother, which I modified to my liking. The only time I ever follow a recipe exactly is when baking something for the first time. And even then I would probably sneak in an extra somethin’-somethin;

The turkey was stuffed with a sage and thyme stuffing (Ina Paarman’s range). The secret to succulent turkey lemon… LEMON…lemon. I ended up with some beautiful juices which I turned into a gravy. For the gammon, I glazed with freshly grated ginger, chutney, uhm… I can’t remember what else. I should write this stuff down. I did the cherry and pineapple thing as you can see with the pics. I love ginger- it lights up any meal and even desserts!

Gammon baby!!

Gammon creation

Turkey with fresh thyme on the plate. Simple, sophisticated. I really tried :)

Turkey with fresh thyme on the plate. Simple, sophisticated. I really tried 🙂

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Then the other evening I defrosted some labl chops and saw the off bits of stuff in my fridge so I decided to make a dish of it. Rosemary and mild masala (warm curry spices) infused lamb chops, lemon buttered and rushed black peppercorns greenbeans and grilled tomato enveloped by smoked mozzarella! All on a bed of rocket! YUM! I was impressed. My husband put his on a bread roll and I almost got a heart attack. “Dude, this was supposed to be fine dining.”

Odd ends in the fridge made pretty: Lamb, green beans, rocket, tomato, smoked mozzarella.

Odd ends in the fridge made pretty: Lamb, green beans, rocket, tomato, smoked mozzarella.

I threw my sister a surprise birthday party on Saturday night- it was a Jamaican theme. This is what I did for the hangover breakfast:

hangover breakfast

hangover breakfast

Scrambled eggs, leg of lamb with red wine jus, BACON, grilled tomato with that beauty of a mozzarella AND basil, cucumber and lemon butter chicken breasts with thyme.

I made the signs below with toothpicks for all the food for the table.

Reggae lables for the food

Reggae lables for the food

DSC_0793 DSC_0794 DSC_0795 DSC_0796 DSC_0797 DSC_0801 DSC_0845

nacho's! because we can!

nacho’s! because we can!

I had tons of cardboard, paint and loose ends I could use to make all the decor (Recycled!). My sister in law helped me finish it all off and put it all together for the evening. Paper chain backdrop and the detail on the front of the table were small but elegant touches. I also had a few gel candles from last year’s market day that added a nice touch too! I made another layered jelly for the evening, this time with cherries in the top layer. I’m still working on my craft, getting to know what works best for the jelly centre pieces. I draped some fairy lights around the jelly and voila! The camera didn’t capture it nicely, but the lights were dimmed, adding to that late night island mood. I need to work on my photography skills too. But eh, maybe in November.

Menu for the night

Served on platters:

  • Roast leg of lamb with red wine jus
  • Sweet rice with fresh herbs and mixed spice
  • Corned meat and corned tongue (my first attempt)
  • Lasagna – also cooked with red wine (hehehe)
  • Citrus chicken kebabs and smoked hickory chicken pieces (braaied/ barbecued)

Served later:

Nachos – layers of authentic nachos chips, cottage cheese, feta, cheddar (baked) then chopped tomato, onion and coriander (cilantro), stir fried durban curry infused beef strips, and finally guacamole! IT WAS GONE IN LESS THAN 5 MINUTES. Two of the memorable comments I got for the food were:

“YOU CAN SELL THIS”, Amon, Blaine 2015, referring to the nacho’s. I think he’s working on the business model.

“Ek wietie wat die issie, maar dit dowwel!” the DJ. I have no idea what that meant, but apparently it’s really good. “i don’t know what this is, but it’s really good.” Loosely translated from Coloured Afrikaans.

When I cook, I do it with my whole heart. And I get it from my momma. I probably won’t end up being a famous chef but that’s okay.

Bold flavours, bold life! That’s me!

Thank you to everyone who eats my food.

Yve

Writing Mentor- Memoirs and Beyond

Life’s too short to take writing too seriously. There’s no pun in that.- Yvette Hess 2014

As mentioned in my about page I mention that I’m embarking on a new journey: adjusting my vision for myself and my family. I want to write while I’m a stay-at-home mom. I’ve always written stuff, just never really created chapters that could fill a book. I know in order to do that I would need to improve my writing, drastically. How does one improve on writing without distorting your voice anyway? Yes, my writer’s voice. I know I have one, I see myself in all that I write- little clues that thread through every line; twinkles of my humour sparkle here and there. But how do I improve and ensure I have credibility? I didn’t study literature or complete a Bachelor of Arts in English. I just love words (like most people do). I just want more than that. I want to be good enough to be published.

Sometimes I doubt myself. Okay, often, I doubt myself. If I look at the upside though, I know I can guarantee my readers honesty. In a world where being authentic is more often than not, just a label stitched on blue-washed jeans, being real is invaluable. Can invaluable sell? Does it sell? I’m willing to spend some spare effort and a little time on exploring that. And I’ve started with Daily Post’s blogging courses to help me exercise my writing muscles.

I’m looking for a mentor to help me with a writing project I have. I want to write a memoir, and as young as people think I am, my years are full. I’d like to document my happenings and lessons- put pen to paper, and encapsulate memories in little pockets of wordblobs. It’s going to be messy and emotional and raw. I think it would be wonderful to read, and for me, it’ll be comforting to physically close every chapter.

If anyone is keen, let me know how you can help or how you have experience in helping others to achieve their (or your own) writing goals.

I’m taking it all in my stride, so there wouldn’t be pressure either way. 🙂

Catch me here:

@yvette_adams

yvetteyadams1@gmail.com

Daily Post: Oh the Irony in Sweet Regret

Oh Regret,

I see you have come to visit again.

We used to spend day and night together,

Yes, I remember those times.

I was young and you were bitter.

Sweet Regret,

This time your visits are shorter,

Less bitter.

Maybe it’s in the weather?

Maybe it’s you-

You’ve changed for the better.

Your friends,

Disappointment, grief and heartache have come along too.

That’s fine- let them in.

We can all gather round and have some tea.

I’m so much braver now you see.

Let me tell you straight to your face, Regret.

I no longer fret.

I have lived.

I live still, not holding my breath.

You may taint my memories, a little.

You may mist my eyes, a little.

But this time, you don’t have me.

I guess I have you, this time, Regret.

It’s a fact you best not forget.

I have you, regret.

Oh, The Irony

A sense of Pride on World Book Day

Yesterday Cayden’s (my eldest son, 7 years old) school celebrated World Book day. Not that we’re not “book people”, but we really struggled to think of memorable and also “do-able” costume characters to make. And since I’m now a stay at home mom, which translates to you-do-everything-now-and have-no-excuses, so the costume had to be good. Dozens of comic stars came to mind, but of course those were banned. Included in the banned group were TV characters-now-book characters. And oh, no renting costumes. We were urged to be creative. That really narrowed it down for us. I thought of the Tin man in Wizard of Oz; it would be easy to do, boxes, foil, silver paint. Cayden wanted to hear nothing of the sort. That mainly because he didn’t know who Tin man was. Indeed I felt super guilty. Next on my list was Wally, from Where’s Wally. Also a super easy costume to make: Paint red stripes on a T-shirt, a walking stick, wool hat, glasses. Boom. And, Cayden asked, “do you have anything in mind I’d be interested in?”. Right-oh.

Darryl (Husband of almost 2 years) naturally tried to push any of the ideas I wanted because I’d be doing most of the work anyway. That and as a man, anything that is cost effective and requires the least work would do. Creativity could go fly a kite.

Cayden insisted that one character would work, and that was Harry Potter. How boring! Last year I woke up at 4am to finish a Sponge Bob-box costume which I thought was way more dramatic and awesome that boring old Harry.

We were driving at the time that Cayden mentioned his preferred choice. I quickly tried to think of what I had that could make the costume work. I had a black winter coat. That was it. “I’d need to buy a wig Cayden. And do other stuff like make glasses for you.” “Great!” He exclaimed. “But I’m not going to do it, I refuse.” Saddened by my refusal, he asked why. I forgot what I told him but by that time I’d already worked out what I was going to paint, the colours and where to buy the wig.

Cayden had an old white clip on tie- I painted the tie red and yellow as well as googling some images of the emblem Harry has on the cloak he wears. I simplified it ad painted it on gold paper (old paper from our wedding day). Darryl helped cut out the glsses I painted on the cardboard I ripped from last year’s SpongeBob. Lastly the wig I bought at a Party& Decor shop (King Cake). They only had long haired wigs so the night before I had to cut to look like Harry’s hair cut.

On the morning of Book day, Cayden put on his great school pants, white shirt and all the other goodies. He was beaming and couldn’t wait to say goodbye to head to school!

By 1pm I’d received an email from his teacher to say that Cayden was selected as one of the top 3 for best dressed. I was soooo happy. I was indeed also happy for him.

When I saw Cayden after school, the first words he shouted were, ‘ thank you, thank you, thank you!’ Those words and his smile made me so happy.

Ah! It’s good to be at home.

Daily Prompt: Cold of the night

She tripped as she tip-toed in the night. My hand rested upon her shoulder, we silently walked further into the darkness.
“Damn it! I can’t see a thing.” She whispered.
“Shhh, don’t wake your mom. You know she’s a crank after boozing.” She threw a quick elbow punch to my thigh. “Okay-y-y.” I wondered they never liked having any lights on in her house. Didn’t make any sense to me.

Sarah led me down the stairs toward the lounge. We planned to watch re-runs of South Park. Ah, the wonders of underage teenagers watching A-rated viewing material. Plus, there was bound to be some alcohol around we could scavenge.

When I felt around familiar spaces I prompted her to get the goods in the kitchen. “Any booze would be cool with me.” I said softly and spanked her buttocks playfully. I felt her smile through blackness. I know her smile. “Yes ma’am.” She replied cheerily.

The LED light from the TV set guided me as I fumbled for the remote control. Sarah opened the fridge, “Gosh, I don’t even know what drinks mix with what.” The light from the fridge was bright enough to help me gain some control in the TV room. “Shit, they cancelled it!” I shouted. “Shhhh!”, she said, “doesn’t matter. Let’s just drink and watch whatever.”

I switched the channel to the movie channels. “Awesome. Ghostbusters. Let’s do it.”

“Cool.” Sarah replied, as she took out glasses and started playing with the combinations she had before her. Jack Daniels, Johnny Walker, some Chivas. She poured a little of each and filled the glass with Lemonade.”Dirty, dirty drinks.” She said as she smirked. Come to think of it, I imagine her mother started off this way, just innocently mixing poison. We never thought of how we’d end up one day. All we knew is that it tasted alright, most times and we had great laughs all the time.

Sipping slowly Sarah paused. By this time I had wondered what was taking her so long. She was frozen, with tears trickling down her cheek. Her bright eyes were dull. But she was so damn beautiful. My hand cupped hers over the glass. She was shaking. “Sarah, I promise your dad’s coming back.” I know I shouldn’t make promise I know I can’t keep but she just needed to hear it. Her father had walked out on the family a few weeks back. “No he isn’t Delilah.” She wiped the tears with her free hand and combed through her dark brown curls. I moved the lightest of the curl from her face. I really wanted to kiss her. But I knew she’d be too vulnerable and fall easily into my lips. I needed to yearn to be with me, not for me to be a mistake she’d blame on the booze.

Her eyes looked to mine, eyelashes wet from the worries of yesterday and tomorrow. I tried to determine what today held in those eyes. She came in closer, and I could smell the liquor on her breath. I could smell the yearning in her, I think.

At this point I felt flustered but ever edging to taste her lips. I took a step towards her and cold air brushed from the fridge against my toes. She lifted her chin just enough for lips to touch hers. I squeezed her hand- not once forgetting the image of body in the light. She always looked so inviting in that white t-shirt and short yellow tights.

“Sarah?” a young boy called. “Delilah? I had a nightmare.”

I grabbed the glass from her and poured the contents down my throat. At least I got to taste the residue from her lips on the glass.

Trio No. 3

[New Post]: Blog quickies

Hi!

I usually find myself pressurized to write lengthy blog posts because a) I thought that’s what’s supposed to happen and b) I usually write long blog posts.

Because I really want to write a few things to get off my chest and I really don’t have that much time to rock out 5000 word thesis, I thought I’d opt to splatter quickies whenever I have a breather to do so.

There’s just so much to tell. This year has been so rough, any Psychologist would make a lot of cash off me right now!

*Get the popcorn*

Mrs H

Leadership and Marriage

I have experience in two fields: leadership and marriage. Both of these fields older people will disregard my opinion mainly because of my age. To the older generation, I’m still too know to have a valid opinion about such heavy topics. To that I say, “Thank goodness for blogging”. My need for release will still be heard by whoever follows my blog. #score.
My “leadership” days track back to university life and my involvement with “all-things-leader”. From student organizations, to councils- it never ended. Apparently I loved power. I could never have been more misunderstood. I enjoyed and to this day enjoy bringing people together, fighting wrongs, and hosting get togethers. Concerning righting wrongs, I guess that’s why I am in auditing. I still enjoy hosting functions and recently very successfully arranged a function at my firm for the purpose of creating culture and a great working environment. Mostly in university I had the craving, and energy, to build. Build and build and provide opportunities for others to grow. I swear it’s all I could think about. I hardly slept. I hardly ate. I had a great figure. Hehehehe (post-pregnancy-body humour). My intention and view of leadership was healthy.
Then I fell ill and boom, got married. You can read more about that in my previous post. I realized that my craving and calling in being a leader, and living like a leader never left. I never changed, my life changed. I know had to be a leader in my own marriage. Most women would sit back and be shocked. “What? A woman lead a marriage? No, that’s the man’s job”. I don’t take kindly to such mentality, but hey, it takes all sorts to fill the world with chaos.
At my wedding my dad said I should let my husband lead- he knew that I was quite the leader and activist at university. At first I thought okay, I’ll let hubby do all the work. But leadership didn’t mean that at all, well, that’s not what we practice at home. I had to lead, and practice all the skills I learnt at varsity, from teamwork to conflict resolution to celebration of victories and honest communication in criticism. All that practice, for marriage.
In my opinion, women should be leading in marriage, and not in that bitter “let him pay” way. You should lead your husband in understanding your role as his partner, NOT necessarily as his woman. Let me explain. There is too much confusion as to the role of a woman vs. that of being a partner. Far too many people see women as weak (only strong once you’ve struck them), over loving and breastfeeding creatures. So, if one of these characteristics is missing, we are not seen as a “good” woman. These criticisms often brought forward by other women too by the way. We then, as women in marriage, internalize it and think of ourselves as less and tolerate inappropriate treatment from our men. We think of ourselves as lesser and so, allow them to see us and treat us like lesser beings, or weak, “women”. We, again in my opinion, give them reason to do so. If we were just true leaders and established each other’s roles as partners- defining strengths and weaknesses, not based on breastfeeding ability, and the “women’s place is in the kitchen mentality”, I think we would have a lot more happier couples in the world. Woman, lady, understand that you are more than just kind, gentle, breastfeeding, weight-gaining individual. It’s never man vs. woman; it’s person A vs. person B; opinion vs. opinion.
I may be wrong, but I doubt it.
Not because my opinion counts, it does on this blog, but because I see my marriage as more than something that was started just the other day. I have to see my husband more than a man. And he has to see me more than a woman. I think it’s possible to blur the lines a bit and he can romance me and woo me, with that idea of me being a woman, but when it comes to the important things, like values, we treat each other as equals.
With respect.
I always think that if he had to, hubby would bear children and breastfeed. We currently do the formula thing so he kind of does breastfeed. He is loving, he is affectionate and caring just like a woman can be seen as. So, if we had to base our marriage and resolving issues on those old ways of viewing a man and woman, our marriage would be confusing and fall to pieces.
In conclusion:
My marriage is as sweet as cake so far.

2013: I’m married, with child(ren)

Wow. 27 years old and married, with 2 children. Really? Me? There came a time when I didn’t think this were possible. Life has funny way of turning around. I mean as in a full 180 degrees!

Last year this time I had been in a low, it happens to me this time of year- and just come out of hospital with a very strange flu. The entire experience was quite traumatic and somewhat dramatic (as most of the events in my life are). I went to the emergency room numerous ocassons, suffered panic attacks, not being able to walk and spent a whole weekend in hospital. This theY say was due to having flu and severe stress and anxiety issues. Pfff, wow. So they were basically telling me this was all in my mind. That is scary.

In my mind I somehow crippled myself mentally and, and it extended physically. I was at my lowest of low, I was diagnosed with an illness, lost track of both university and academic career. My mind and spirit was in agony. I befriended my husband (then boyfriend) and we both learnt about my illness, coping strategies and slowly I recovered and thrived. Then I fell pregnant! Ha! I could not believe it- just as we were getting somewhere.

It turned out that the baby boy I was carrying was an even bigger blessing that we had thought. We all know God does not make mistakes.

I had a very difficult pregnancy, even though I thought it would be smooth sailing as I had experience with my 6 year old. Boy was I wrong! Trips to the hospital, premature labour, getting married, moving for the first time, new job- all of it. Just was a whirlwind of a ride. But well worth it.

I used to spend sleepless nights making lists, writing and having ideas about many concpets and events, now I spend my nights sleeping, soundly. I spend my quiet times reading and spending time with my little family. I sit in quiet moments to redefine who I am- not because who i am or was isn’t good enough, but rather that all those bumpy rides gives one perspective, a different way of looking at who I am and what i want my children and husand to remember.

Will I pick up a pen/ laptop to write again and share my little wisdoms with you in prose or poetry?

Who knows…

Mrs H
(prev Miss Y)

—The new me—-