A hair colour is as good as a holiday, isn’t that what they say?
(Something like that?)
I had a few things change today, appointments cancelled on me… and as I walked back to my car after dropping off baby girl at school, it occurred to me –
I could get my hair done!
It was last minute, sure.
But also, it was Tuesday. A drizzly, cloudy Tuesday morning.
Not a busy, let’s-get-this-party-started Saturday.
I called the hairdressers, and guess what?
They were free!
I’ve been chocolate brown for sooo long. But I’ve had this really super annoying thing, where these lighter coloured pieces of hair keep stubbornly making their way to my hairline, mostly at the front, and like I said, it’s REALLY ANNOYING…
I mixed it up a bit and put very light foils through my hair, highlighting lighter bits throughout, that should help detract the eye when those annoying lighter ones decide to poke on through again…
I realised with extreme sadness this morning, as we got ready to go to my parents house, that it would be the LAST TIME EVER Hubbie went there.
I started to cry.
Oh the memories. The memories. I can’t even begin to express the breadth and depth of emotion when it comes to the memories.
In some ways, I am feeling more for my parents leaving this house, then I did for Hubbie, baby girl and I moving from our first home over 4 years ago now.
4 years, versus 40 years. There is A LOT of difference there.
I even cried when we were at the front of the house today, Hubbie filling up the car with stuff to move over to their new place. I sat on the big pillar that serves as a mailbox, remembering how I sat there with my neighbours, over 25 years earlier.
I walked up to my former friends’ houses, noticing how I hadn’t done it for decades… and knowing that it had been different for just as long.
It’s hard to remove yourself from the place where you made so many memories. It’s hard because a piece of you stays there forever.
Sure, many of the people in those memories have moved away and are gone… but I was always able to visit the my parents house, my old home, and reminisce about the way things used to be.
Today I stopped and stared a lot. Looked around my parents back yard. Their enviously luscious green back yard. So abundantly healthy and blooming in all life forms of nature. Several times I went past the pear tree, and as I lifted my head, the fruit actually bonked me on the head, hard.
I had to laugh.
I know the memories will come with me. I have been preparing for this moment for so long now. But until the day of goodbye comes, I will keep staring at that beautiful green, drilling it into my memory for all of time.
It was a day to look a little closer at the beauty in front of us…
And a day to whinge and moan about what is IN us.
The holiday reality is, life doesn’t just escape you. Meaning you still feel all the bad, as much as you feel the natural highs of being away.
Your feelings don’t change when you’re away. You just have less of other stuff to do while you keep those same thoughts, or have that same life. Just a change of scenery, which is what we’re all craving, right?
But, despite the whinging and the moaning, the change of environment can provide us with insights, not usually granted to us when at home and in the everyday routine of life.
Is there a lesson to be learnt?
Can I take this newfound experience home with me?
How can I deal with this in a more learned manner in future?
Did you know Queen has a Christmas song? Actually, two that I know of. The one I’m referring to, the same title as my blog post, well I discovered it a few months ago.
But upon finding it to play, I struggled to get through it without tears in my eyes, as the lyrics hit me hard, having gone through some issues at the time.
This morning, I put it on repeat, several times.
“Oh, my friends, it’s been a long hard year
But now it’s Christmas
Yes it’s Christmas
Thank God it’s Christmas.”
Those were my sentiments exactly, and I went into Christmas at my parents house, shared with my sister and her family, feeling utterly grateful.
Snapshots of Christmas 2020.
You might notice a plate of lemons in there. Well you see, lemons are the right fruit to refer to with what I’m about to share, having played an important part of a moment I had today.
Not only was I grateful to be amongst family after a year like no other, where hardship and difficulty seemed to arrive at every opportunity, but it was a bittersweet Christmas in that it would be the last at my childhood home before my parents moved house.
It was a Christmas, like so many we’d had there before… full of love, happiness, laughter, and great memories. But every now and then, it hit me – CRAP, this was our last one there.
I was cutting up lemons for our evening prawn feast, when it struck me again.
Last Christmas here.
And suddenly, it was bittersweet. Much like the lemons. On their own they were hard to take, your face screwed up when you bit into it, they were so sour…
But in accompaniment, with something else, like prawns… with a martini… or with honey… somehow it tasted a lot better.
It was great, even desirable.
Much like this last Christmas.
It wasn’t the last, but it would be the last there.
I could take it though. I could take it, because I still took with me all the memories of being there, celebrating Christmas after Christmas with my family and friends, all throughout the years.
Most importantly, I was taking the most important thing with me.
As if on cue, INXS’s ‘Don’t Change’ came on the radio, and I had to smile.
If only there were no change. Things would be so easy, with everything staying the same, static, and with no room to move.
But that’s the point of life you see. To grow. To evolve.
There MUST be change.
So I took the lemons to the table, and we enjoyed them in the best prawn feast ever.
My childhood home was SOLD. Yep, the place where I was brought home as an infant, lived all through my childhood, to teenage years, adulthood, and was even led out of the house, parents side by side as they escorted me to the wedding cars for my nuptials with Hubbie…
That house, went under the hammer.
It’s momentous for all of us, but mostly, our parents. Mum and Dad have lived there for 40 years, so this is a huge change, but also one that was imminent, and something that is great to have happened now, when it did.
Being with my parents, my sister, and baby girl, all of us sharing in that special moment… it was mixed emotions, but it was EXCITING.
The excitement continued when I headed over to help celebrate a dear friend’s baby shower.
Oh wow. Can I just say, other than my immediate family, I have not seen people for like, ALL YEAR! Ok, so maybe not all year, but most of the people in that room I haven’t actually seen in 2020. Like, things have been cancelled, postponed, practically all birthdays were thrown out the window this year, so those we would have seen even a handful of times, we’ve seen NO ONE, at all.
But it was special. It was wonderful. It was exhilarating while also being oddly relaxing. Eating, drinking, sharing conversation, and enjoying each other’s company…
My God, I miss being social. It’s great to be back. And when it’s for great things, like
I will happily oblige to help all the people celebrate.
The really sad thing about this lockdown is the unavoidable mental stress and anguish many people will experience in some form, without even knowing it.
I know, I’ve had a lot on my mind. But I didn’t realise how much, until I stepped out of my box today.
My box, being the house.
I had some errands to run, and the last of them was grabbing some things at the local safeway on our way home.
But I had a surprise up my sleeve.
I’d seen online that Ferguson Plarre had some decorate your own cookie kits for kids, where you got 6 shortbread biscuits with jam, lollies, sprinkles, smarties and icing, for you to decorate and dress them up as you like…
Dress them up for your belly!
It wasn’t just a last-minute surprise I wanted to spring on baby girl. I wasn’t sure if they would have any of these kits left… but sure enough, I was lucky.
Baby girl literally squealed and jumped up and down on the spot as I bought it.
She decorated her heart out.
We sat together as she used three types of icing, placed lollies on the cookie, placed lollies in her mouth, ate a couple smarties, put some on the cookie, then ate a whole lot more.
Then she tipped over the sprinkles on the floor, but, eh.
(Note to parents, never leave an open sprinkles container on the edge of a table).
But she was happy. I was happy. Was it the do-it-yourself cookies? The takeaway coffee, with caffeine suddenly coursing through my veins?
It was a bit of both. But I had placed it already.
Baby girl and I had been out. We had been normal. I’d had a change of scenery, and without realising it at the time, it had meant the world to me.
I hope you’re all doing okay out there. And it’s okay if you’re not.
Just do what you can. Day by day. We’re all getting through this.
You may feel alone, but know that we are all alone, together.
This sucks for us ALL.
And if the opportunity presents… try to throw as many sprinkles into your life as you can.
We all need that shit as much as possible right now.
I’m about to tell you a little tale about vegetables.
And… news break! You can actually overdose on them.
This isn’t one of these posts where I will end up telling you to eat more chocolate, no. Vegetables are definitely, undeniably, good for you.
It’s all about balance.
You know how sometimes you do one thing, or look for one thing, and then something else occurs, but you wouldn’t have known about the other thing, or come across it at all, without that first thing occurring?
I was thinking this today as I had a phone consult with my GP.
Because when I’d been in her office about 2 weeks ago for an infection, in her analysis of me, she had suddenly said “show me your palms.”
Her suspicion was that my skin was slightly yellow-ing. Taking on an orange tinge even. Very slightly.
She asked me outright “do you eat a lot of carrots?”
“Uh, no, not carrots.”
“Anything with carotene, any orange things?”
“Well I have sweet potato and pumpkin, almost every single night,” I replied.
She went on to explain that I may have too much beta carotene in my blood. The possible condition was called carotenemia, and was a result of consumption of too many orange and yellow foods.
She arranged a test with my other bloods to be done, and today I got the result.
Yep. I had elevated levels.
It was nothing serious… just as she said, if it continued, it was “unsightly.” She would get me re-tested in 6 months time to see if my levels had changed, but advised that I skip the orange vegies to every second day, and said to watch out for baby girl, because if we were eating the same thing, it could affect her too.
What about Hubbie?
He was all about the steamed vegies! Steamed sweet potato, steamed pumpkin, steamed carrots… it was what we ate almost every night, and most nights gave us leftovers that he popped into his lunch the next day with rice, or pasta.
“I’m not yellow. Am I?” I asked him today after the call.
“No,” he said, observing me.
“Actually, I think I can see a tinge in you now,” I said.
We were both ON ALERT.
Immediately, we were instantly turned off the thought of any orange-type vegies for our dinner tonight.
It was weird, because it was like it HAD TO HAPPEN. Suddenly we could see our ways, our routine ways of the same old vegies, each and every night, with the same bloody leftovers for lunch the next day… and we were bored and wanted change.
I made a quick stop at the supermarket and bought…
Now, I’ve actually been looking up this condition, this carotenemia, and it’s an excess of orange, yellow AND green foods that can cause this appearance.
Having said that, you would imagine that orange/yellow foods were the main offenders, and contained much more beta carotene that their green vegie counterparts.
For the first time in ages, I bought brussel sprouts (yes that famously infamous vegie!) and string beans.
I looked up a few online recipes to spice it up, and decided on pan-frying the lot with some basic salt and pepper.
Oh. My. God.
It was DELICIOUS! A post about my brussels will surely come at another time, so I’ll save my ultimate gratitude for that one later. 😉 But it kinda proved to me that we’d been majorly missing out, by only doing the same thing… when there were so many other ways to eat and enjoy other vegetables.
So there you go. My public service announcement. Mix up your vegies guys, and if anyone has any great non-orange vegie recipes for me that are easy to incorporate into a dinner routine (emphasis: ‘easy’), hit me up!