Freedom Part 2

Day 6

There is a price to pay for being more active and it comes in the form of giant blood blisters on the back of my feet. Seriously these things are the size of quarters. That will teach me for trying to walk instead of drive! Clearly my winter boots weren’t meant for strolling any longer than five minutes. As much as they hurt I need to keep moving. If I stop they hurt more. So now my house is extra extra clean and I am exhausted! My library card is also getting quite the workout. I think I have been there at least six times in the last two weeks. Callum is requesting books which is a nice change of pace. Usually he only wants to rent movies.

Day 7

Life without social media or tv is much easier than I thought it would be. The first day or two was weird because it is just second nature to plunk down on the couch and watch the tube while simultaneously scrolling through my phone. Now that limits have been put in place I feel more connected to the family. We have time for each other. During dinner the tv stays off so no one (mostly me)  feels like need to get back to their show. We sit and talk about our day and what we are thankful for.  Everyone seems calmer and happier. I have started to read the news online again and it is giving me heart pains. I like being well informed about what is going on in the  world but this is seriously too much. I would prefer sticking my head in the sand. What is happening in this world is terrifying. How can I explain to my kids that Muslims aren’t bad when the President just banned them because they might be terrorists? My kids are sweet and couldn’t care less about whether someone is black or white or brown, or what religion they are. They don’t care if they speak a different language or wear a niqab. If you’re a nice person then they will want to befriend you. My worry is that when you hear something like Muslims are bad over and over again you can start to believe it. I can only undo so much of that damage. when you have a world leader telling you to be wary it seems to hold a lot of sway with children.

Day 8

Callum’s punishment is over today. He was only grounded for a week. I really should have made it a month. From the second he woke up this morning all he has talked about it getting back on his ipad. I was hoping a week away from it would have made him forget. Oh I am such a fool! I’m nervous about letting him back on. It’s a slippery slope. Plus he gets super nasty when you tell him his ipad time is done. He has massive freak outs that can last upwards of two hours. Wish me luck

Day 9

I tried really hard to distract Cal so he wouldn’t go on his ipad. He saw through that charade pretty darn quickly. I ended up giving him twenty minutes to play. You would have thought I had given him a million dollars. He was so happy. He also did really well when it was time to hand over the ipad. He tried to wheel and deal to get a few extra minutes but didn’t break down when I said no. I feel like that’s progress.

Day 10

Today all I wanted to do was lay on the couch and watch tv. I didn’t do it but it was a struggle. Folding laundry while sitting in silence sucks. Usually I would have a cooking show on. Not today. I’ve been okay not being on social media. I don’t miss it at all. I am just so bored. It’s cold. I hate the cold. I do not want to be outside. I really wish it was spring. This would be so much easier if I could be in my garden. My house has never been cleaner, I have read four books and knit two scarves. I am getting all my work done and then some. I am volunteering at the kid’s school and I have never been more organized or slept better. I feel happier but I can not escape the fact that I am bored to tears. The hours just seem to drag on. The urge to watch tv just to pass some time is really difficult to get through today.

Day 14

Well it has been two weeks since my self imposed exile from social media and television and I must say I am in no rush to get back to it. Yes I am bored on occasion but overall life feels better without all the chaos from the news or the anger spewed on social media. As much as I like knowing what is happening in my friend’s lives I think I will just stick to talking to them from now on instead of getting updates through Facebook.

As for my eye sight, it has improved dramatically! I no longer feel like my eyes are dry and straining to see. I’m not getting headaches and my neck doesn’t hurt from having my head down looking at my phone.

The kids are having a much harder time. Since I allowed them back on, and despite the limits that have been set, I can see the addiction beginning again. My kids are like me. It’s all or nothing. There is no in between. So needless to say the tech ban is back on for them. I can’t blame them for the addiction. They are constantly surrounded by it. At school they play computer games during math class. When their friends come over they bring their ipads or phones and then they just stare at screens and occasionally make some kind of grunting noise at each other.

Technology is important. It connects the world and has made our lives so much easier but at the same time it is a vampire. It sucks up our time and energy. I am definitely going to steer clear of it for a while longer.

 

 

Pesto Pasta

 

We waste too much food. At the end of the week I always find shrivelled up veggies and herbs. Leftovers that have seen better days and it’s guaranteed something mysterious is lurking in a Tupperware container.

Enough of this madness I say! I need to start using what we have instead of constantly running to the grocery store.

This week I had left over chicken, basil, penne and grape tomatoes. They needed to be used asap.

Luckily I remembered a delicious meal my friend Joanne made for us when Callum got home from the hospital. Penne Pasta with chicken, pesto and sun dried tomatoes.

I lacked pesto and sundried tomatoes so I had to improvise.

Pesto is one of the easiest things in the world to make. You will need:

1 cup basil leaves

1 clove of garlic

3 tablespoons of olive oil

a small handful of pine nuts or any nut you happen to have on hand

Typically pine nuts are lightly toasted and cooled before being added to the pesto. I didn’t have pine nuts but I did have walnuts so that’s what I used. To brown the nuts put them in a sauté pan. No oil is needed. Swirl them around for a few minutes until you can smell them. Take them off the heat to cool. I always stop cooking them once I can smell them toasting because they can go from nicely cooked to burnt and bitter in a matter of seconds.

Puree everything together. Add oil until it is smooth and you can’t see any large chunks.

Instead of sundried tomatoes I made oven dried. You will need:

1 table spoon olive oil

Grape tomatoes

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon sugar

Pre heat the oven to 300 degrees. Cut the tomatoes in half and toss in the sugar, oil and seasoning. I put the tomatoes on a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet lined with tin foil. If you would prefer you can just put them on a parchment lined cookie sheet. They will be a bit soggy though.

Let the tomatoes cook for an hour. Check on them after 30 minutes to make sure they aren’t browning too quickly.

 

Cook your penne or whatever pasta you choose until it is al dente.

Toss the pasta, pesto, chicken and tomatoes together and put in a casserole dish. I like to grate mozzarella on top. Cook at 350 until the cheese is melted and the chicken is warm.

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This is a great make ahead meal! It also reheats nicely too so you don’t have to worry about leftovers going to waste. Well to be honest there may not be leftovers. Chris and Sofie both had two helpings because it is so tasty.

Enjoy!