Photos of the simple life

Watering my rosesIt’s been a while since I posted so I thought I should update Y’all.

I have been busy with life and work but what I have really been trying to do is get more pictures of me. You see, what I realised is that when I am looking at someone’s holiday photos, I don’t really want to see the places they have been or the bags they packed. I want to see them and the people they met! So, I am endeavouring to do that now. I haven’t been travelling anywhere in particular yet. I think, however, that this will be my last weekend of “settling in”. I will have been here for about a month by then and I have promised myself I will go somewhere new and exciting once a month!

Above is a picture of me watering my pot plants, click “more” for more photos!

Watering my roses, from inideWhen I arrived at my little slice of paradise, I realised that it has a lovely three-level window box. This window box is protected from the elements by glass all around and has an adjustable vent. So, for all intents and purposes it’s “indoors”. I immediately went and bought some miniature red roses (at Wal-Mart, of course), pruned them back, fed them and started watering them every morning and night.

I was amazed to see that they responded better to the pruning than I expected. In fact, they appeared to prune themselves.

Now that they were getting more sun they were used to, the old long shoots withered and died, while new vigorous ones took their place. I guess that roses in the wild do quite well enough without our interference so I shouldn’t be all that surprised.

Mini rose I bought a few more but didn’t prune them since they were flowering. They are a deep red in colour and smell great too. It’s good to have something besides me living in this place for a change, even if it is just a plant.

It can get quite lonely when you are by yourself. Even when you’re in a crowd of people, you can feel lonely. I find myself missing someone I have really been trying very hard not to think about for over 4 months now (honest, I have).

Now that is an angsty post for another time, back to the domestics.

Something Mom always asks me (without fail) is if I am doing the ironing. I guess this is because she really hates doing the ironing herself, so if I am doing the ironing then I have to be doing pretty well for myself.

Yes, Mom, I am doing the ironing, see? I am normally half-naked at home because of the interminable heat. It consistently reaches over 40 degrees Celsius here, which can get quite uncomfortable.

That thing around my neck is a Pounamu (greenstone) pendant, given to me by my church, all of whom I miss. Because it was given in this way, it’s referred to as a Taonga (treasure).

Drying the clothes with a view I have taken to drying my clothed on a clothes horse. In many ways, Texas reminds me of South Africa. The heat, the guns, the roads, the sorts of things you can buy in the shop. This wooden clothes horse, for example, was very reminiscent of one I remember from South Africa. The clothes dry very quickly and the view is something you’d want to hang around for.

In other news, I managed an astounding 48.7 mpg over 470 miles last week! That’s calculated. The computer in the car told me it was more like 50 mpg but I prefer do to my own maths. I have figured out the key to really good Prius driving: slipstreaming. Believe it or not, it makes a huge difference. If I can get in behind a truck doing 65 Mph I can average a good 50 mpg even going uphill, simply because the vacuum left by his/her moving vehicle is helping me along.

I also figured out that you need to think of the car as a closed system, perfectly balanced (like a spinning top).

Bowl of fruitWhen you put your foot down you are adding to that system, the trick is to add as little as possible. But don’t get too greedy. If you completely freewheel down a hill, for example, you lose momentum and the alternator cannot hope to turn all that kinetic energy into electrical energy. The solution is constant applied pressure on the gas, maintaining a rate of around 50 – 75 mpg (no more, no less), all while tailgating a 16-wheeler. Fun, fun, fun!

Finally, I have been eating a whole lot more fruit lately. About two fruit a day, plus a banana in my cereal for breakfast. I can’t remember when the last time I ate this much fruit was!