Little things that empower.

I bought a measuring jug, the other day. Something I was missing for a very long time since I moved in with my mother after Dad’s passing over eight years ago. My old measuring jug is misplaced among my pile of belongings, scattered among those of the rest of the family.

I’ve moved several times, trying to make a fresh start after my beloved life companion passed away nearly twenty years ago. They all seemed to have fizzled out for one reason or another. However, I’ve never lost my love of food and the creation of things edible. Food and making yummy edibles, chills me out. It’s a really relaxing occupation, just thinking about the myriad possibilities of what could be created from basic food stuffs like beans, eggs, flour, oil, sugar etc.

I’m quite fascinated by bread making, especially made by hand. Lots of hard work, from such simple ingredients like flour, sugar, salt, yeast, oil and water. Bread is a common food in virtually all cultures, from east to west on this planet. Bread in it’s various forms sustains life.

So, getting back to my wonderful purchase ie. the measuring jug, it felt great to be able to measure out several ingredients with just one jug without having to fiddle with knobs or weights to get a basic measurement. It doesn’t need any batteries either. This simple device is an amazing invention for the home cook who just wants to give family and friends an enjoyable meal. It needn’t be earth-shattering, but a lovely taste-bud memory.

Armed with this wonder jug, I feel empowered to create as many of the mouth watering creations shared by other expert chefs as well as doing some of my own little experiments.

My google search for the history of the measuring cup brought up these facts.

The measuring cup was invented by Fannie Farmer in 1896. It is said that this “new concept was published in a book called “The Boston Cooking School Cook Book” which was written by her when she was the director of the Boston Cooking School.” (

How ingenious, and invented by a woman as well! Thank you Fannie Farmer, you made life much easier for millions of cooks all over the globe! How EMPOWERING!

To be Old

In youth we can’t imagine what it’s like to be old. We sometimes lived our lives like there’s no tomorrow, squandering our time, abilities, material goods. Taking what we have for granted until we lose them or deplete them into nothingness. Perhaps, thinking that we will always be youthful, strong, alert, sharp and clear in mind, and body.

As spring turns to summer then autumn, youth fades gradually, the sparkle slowly dims, the whirlwind of life slows down. Tiredness and fatigue begin to dominate. Our worries and concerns change. In youth, we lived for the moment, believing we could take on any challenge. When we grew older we had to face the realities of our individual lives – the wider community did count, even if it was for our own self-interest, our own selfish ends, our self-centered profit and self-preservation. It was time to establish oneself, make our mark even if it was small. Self satisfaction was a necessity. The continuity of our line, imperative for most. But, for some to live for the moment counted more.

Then, pension schemes became necessities as time wore on in it’s daily humdrum routine. Some of us, plunged into adventure in youth, living like rolling stones that gather no moss but soon see a blank future. So, we hunker down into gathering some security in bank accounts to fall back on. Others bravely hope Providence will protect them in time of need. Time walks rapidly and we struggle to keep up with it.

Soon, the young ones seem to ignore us. Just beginning the cycle we had passed not so long ago, or was it? We notice the sagging cheeks, the crows feet at the corners of our eyes, the deepening lines on either side of the mouth. Am I looking back at me in the mirror? Who is the hag with the thinning, greying hair? The title “Auntie” comes as a shock! Get used to it, you’re no spring chicken.

We often look back on our lives, nostalgia sets in, especially with people we seem to have known for ages. The bitter-sweet taste of the past and the present. As we grow older, the past comes back like it happened yesterday, the present fades in our memory. We can’t remember what we just said or why we had gone to the utility cupboard. Is this the onset of dementia or worse, Alzheimer?

If I leave the safety and familiarity of my home, will I be able to come back? What if I forgot where I lived, and once familiar and routine paths suddenly became unfamiliar and strange? Where do I live, I don’t know…My grandma fell asleep on a bus once and went right to the end, she wasn’t sure where to stop but made a lucky guess on the way back. We never allowed her to travel alone again.

The aches and pains of body mechanisms breaking down. Falling asleep in mid conversation but being unaware of it. The more spritely take to optimism and look at the funny side of old age. To be thought senile may have its advantages, a license to act as you please, even if they think you’re barmy!

Don’t despise the aged, they have lived longer than you. Some have seen violence, fear, hopelessness, depravation, war… some are unsung heroes. Living by their wits, building a future for the next generations with hope and vision.

Youth like old age is transient, scoff not at the old hag or the hobbling old codger, bent like a question mark. Your time will come and you too will be that question mark.

2014 in review from WordPress – Thank you everyone, you’ve been great!

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 22 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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