Nature or Nurture

I have read a few things about Virgos this week which made me ponder how much influence your star sign has over your personality traits and how much is environment.

Virgos are notorious for our organisation. As a child I read a book which really stuck with me. It was a very old book which I found on my Grandmother’s book shelf. It was called Five Little Peppers and How They Grew.

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I was an only child and to amuse myself I read voraciously, I read pretty much any book I could get my hands on (some of which were entirely inappropriate for a child which is possibly why I have so many issues now lol). I even read her encyclopaedias. I was fascinated by many aspects of this book. I found the concept of so many people functioning in a tiny house quite bizarre as a middle class only child. My Grandmother’s house only had one bathroom but by the time I was spending a lot of time at her home not many people lived there full time. My cousins and I spent a lot of time with my grandmother, myself in particular as I grew up in the house next door to her. The Peppers had a regimented routine which was timed by Mr Pepper and functioned in an almost military like precision.

I liked this idea and I still have a Bathroom Routine which I follow meticulously and if I get off track of this routine then I will generally forget one of my daily tasks. My routine is Virgo analytical and based on the least repeat actions and optimal process flow. After I shower I brush my teeth, that way if I drip toothpaste it does not get onto my clothing. If I wash my hair I put on my leave in conditioner or hair oils as soon as I am out of the shower while my hands are still clean of  other products which reduces the amount of water and time I waste on repeated hand washing. I put on my face cream then leave it to ‘set’ while I apply my body lotion. This stops your face being shiny and oily and leaves my body lotion time to soak in while I apply my make up in the next step and it avoids the body lotion being wiped off by my clothing. Then I put on my clothes and lastly I dry my hair which allows my hair time to air dry as much as possible (thus saving electricity as well as time and hair damage.)

I find routines give me a feeling of comfort and calm. Lord knows I need all the calm I can get in my life as I am a complete stress kitten full of senseless anxiety.

Recently a friend sent me a Ted Talk video about the Philosophy of Stoicism which I found fascinating.

It basically discusses how our reactions to events are the root of our emotions, not the actual events themselves. In a kind of ‘we choose whether to be happy or sad’ sort of way. That whether a situation is stressful or not is down to how we choose to react to that situation. Personal Mastery.

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Norm is very good at recognising whether my reactions are based on current situations or whether they are ‘triggered’ by my tumultuous past.

The video also describes how we can strive for self improvement through the 4 Cardinal Virtues.

4 virtues

Nelson Mandela was influenced by the study of these principals. I suspect this is where he made the decision to lead through peace rather then the methods which had gotten him imprisoned.

I found this concept very interesting and it gave me some goals to strive for in my own personal growth where as my husband is high on these scales. He is a natural born leader and is excellent at communication and staying calm. (Most of the time.) He stresses over things I find silly, such as cooking, as he does not feel confident in the kitchen. However he can stand in front of a thousand people and confidently present or speak to them. That situation would make me physically ill.

However my Mom and my husband are both Cancerians and while my Mom is great at engaging on a one to one basis I cannot imagine her speaking to a group of people in a professional capacity. So how much is nature and how much is nurture?

It makes one think. But then I think too much.

Last week was a busy week. We returned from our anniversary trip  last Saturday and then on Sunday we relaxed as we were rather exhausted and it was cold and dreary outside. I made a huge fire and a big pot of chicken curry for that night which then did us for a few lunches during the week.

I went back to the nurse last Monday who says my blood pressure is still high. It may be diet related as we did not stick to low carb eating while we were away. I then went for a follow up at the ENT on Tuesday and she told me my ears are still full of fluid so I am back on different meds. I only go back in a month’s time.

Norm took Navajo to the vet on Tuesday and he also has an ear infection, he is not very happy at the moment and is rather moany and groany so hope the drops help the poor baby.

Wednesday Norm did a shop for me as he was going to be away in Gabarone from Thursday morning until late on Friday and it is difficult for me to get to the shops, deal with the animals and still take Cordelia home on the days when she is working for us.

Thursday night I cooked chicken breasts in spinach and coconut cream and served it with corn on the cob and fried zucchini left over from my lasagne which I also made that night. It was a short cut low carb lasagne for me and Caitlin to have on Friday while Norm was away. I made my normal meat sauce but instead of slicing the zucchini into long strips lengthwise to mimic lasagne noodles (which takes ages) I just chopped it into little round disc shaped slices and popped a layer of those on top of the meat and then topped it all with mozzarella. It tasted just as good and saved on the faffing with slicing the zucchini.

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Norm had some travel issues and only arrived home after midnight on Friday but I waited up for him as I was very happy to see him.

Saturday we were up early as I had an appointment at the chiro for myself and Pixie so we toddled off to Noordhoek for that. Our appointment was at 9.30am so we were back home by 11. I had invited friends around for Norm’s birthday celebrations on Sunday so I showered and headed out to the shops to buy party food and Norm’s presents. I was starving so I stopped at Woolworth’s to have some breakfast. I had their eggs benedict and added some bacon to it.

woolies egg

They are usually really slow there but they were on the ball and I was fed and off on my way quickly. I did a huge shop of snack type food. I used to do proper cooking when we entertained but then I would spend all day on my feet cooking and end up tired and if I am faffing with food service I can’t relax and enjoy it so I decided to do all finger foods.

Norm spent the day Saturday painting our new kitchen. He did the ceilings and the walls around the cupboards. Now he only has the dining room left to finish. The end is in sight! Our next project is the upstairs bathrooms but we are not sure when we are going to start that project but I am putting away money each month to fund it.

As Norm was busy painting and it was pouring with rain we decided to be lazy and use OrderIn to get takeaways. Norm normally hates using a delivery service but there was just too much going on for him to pop out and I cannot drive at night so I persuaded him to use OrderIn. We ordered from a new place as saw on their menu that we could get low carb food. We chose RT’s Pub & Grill. We got the usual email saying our food would arrive in 45 minutes. Usually this is an over-estimate with OrderIn and it arrives in half an hour. However after an hour I received a call from OrderIn to apologise that they were running a bit late and it should be there soon. After an hour and a half had passed I received an SMS to say it was on it’s way but then I got an SMS asking me to rate their service which usually arrives after the food has been delivered so I phoned them back to ask what was going on. The guy on the phone was rambling nonsense at me, first saying the driver had been in an accident, then saying that the food was not ready and he would have to phone the driver and phone me back. I waited another 15 minutes and I phoned back to the call centre and got a different agent who slagged off the first agent saying he ‘wasn’t surprised he did not ring back’ and implied that he is not very good at his job. He then said HE had to phone the driver and he promised to phone me back. I was raging by the time. He phoned me back in about 10 minutes and said that the delivery guy had been almost at my house, but then the restaurant had phoned to say they had given him the wrong order and he had to go back. This all reeked of utter bullshit. The food eventually arrived after over 2 hours. It was ice cold. I was so angry I gave them a 1 star rating and tweeted how poor the service was.

I then got an email saying they will credit my account. I have not seen it reflect as yet but they said it might take a few days. Norm will never order from them again. I was so disappointed as it is a life saver when he is away and I have to feed me and Caitlin with no shopping in the house. It was also a shame as I think the food would have been fine if it was warm.

On Sunday we were up early getting the house cleaned for Norm’s birthday drinks. We are both pack rats and end up with piles of books and paper and all sorts of crap piling up. Norm also steam cleaned the tile floors.

We had invited everyone from 4pm as it was a Sunday we knew every one had work the next day (including me!) so we started early.

I made devilled eggs, fried some little free range chicken chipolattas, and put out fresh bread, a cheese board, nuts, crisps, popcorn, dips, some veggies with dips, olives, crackers, jams and all sorts of nibbles. We stocked the bar with spirits and had a cooler with beer and cider. We had various bottles of red wine on the bar and plenty of white wine in the drinks fridge.

Once people started arriving I turned on the oven to heat up the frikkadels (meatballs), chicken and cheese meatballs, and the chicken samosas I had bought at woollies. They were tasty and so easy to prepare.

party food

Our house is perfect for entertaining now with all of the counter space in the new kitchen as well as the new bar area. Downstairs is all open plan so people could gather in various areas and still mingle about and be part of the different convos. It was lovely to see our friends, we ended up with over 20 people there.

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Eventually we all ended up gathered around the bar. I love that new bar.

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We had such a lovely evening. We still managed to be in bed by 11 even if we were a bit tipsy with it!

Tonight Norm and I are going out for dinner to a venue we have never been to before. I don’t want to spoil his surprise so I will save it for my next blog.

Have a great week everyone!

 

 

 

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One thought on “Nature or Nurture

  1. Pingback: Lucky Kitten & The Birthday Bao | Kitten in the City

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