#1537 Day 39 of getting there: old school coffee

As might be expected at this time of life, I ran out of my first item today, amidst the corona isolation.

And it was, brace yourself, a truly NECESSARY item.

Coffee beans!

(SHOCK! HORROR!)

Obviously I am kidding (or am I?) being all first-world problem, but today was the first day I truly felt the inconvenience of being unable to jump in a car and run down to pick up something like a whole bag of beans, ripped out of my grasp.

So as I stood there, clearly without, I decided to raid the cupboard… surely I had some kind of coffee in there, right?

I mean I had the instant coffee stuff. And Hubbie made a mean instant coffee, not that he was there… but I knew what he did and what his process was, and I was willing to recreate it if I didn’t find anything in my search.

In fact it was like killing two birds with one stone. I’d been meaning to give the pantry a massive re-sort and tidy up, in the process checking use-by dates and chucking stuff that didn’t serve a purpose anymore.

I came across two bags. One was ground Macedonian coffee, use by…?

2017.

Throw.

The next one was a Turkish coffee, you know, those rectangle-type packets that are hard like a brick? Yeah those ones. This was the Negrita brand, and when I turned it upside down I found…

2018.

Damn it.

Because I couldn’t see anything else in my vision, I immediately went to ask my right-hand woman what she thought.

Right-hand woman being Google.

“Can you use unopened ground coffee past the use-by date?”

The general consensus was it would be fine to drink… but it wasn’t worth it.

Because it would taste like shit.

Throw.

Okay, so fine. It was going to be the instant coffee. I would be fine.

Sure I would be fine. It would taste great.

Fine.

But then I went to the pantry, and something next to the big packet of sugar in the corner of the cupboard caught my eye…

Another foreign packet?

A coffee packet?

Ground coffee it WAS. Grinders. I sighed.

‘This one will have an expiry of 2019, surely.’

It would be another throw.

I turned it over unenthusiastically, looking for a date, and found –

‘Use by 12/2020.’

WHAT? That was later this year!

I actually jumped for joy! Baby girl walked in and found me clutching the packet of ground coffee like it was gold.

Oh this iso is doing crazy things to us.

So, I went old school.

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I took my little pot out and added sugar, coffee, water, and then waited as it came to the boil.

There was something beautiful about the process. There was no automatic machine grinding the beans, with milk and caffeine coming out of stainless steel spouts at different intervals.

It was slow. Measured. It felt a bit like the stage of life we are in. Where we are forced to slow down, take it easy, and step back from the rush, the convenience, the instant-gratification of life that we have grown so used to.

I then sat down with my coffee, and my Anzac bikkie from yesterday’s baking…

And I slurped.

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Ahh.

You know what the funny thing is? I did that turning over the coffee cup thing where the grounds run down the cup to the saucer so that you can ‘read’ your future…

I usually have several, if not 7 or 8 lines running out of my cup, they are considered ‘paths’…

Today, I had one main one.

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That’s because now with corona, I ain’t going no where!

🤣🤣🤣

But soon, maybe soon, I will have a big path… that’s what my old school coffee told me anyway. 😉

#1459 The book to remove clutter

I was looking up books of interest at the local  library a while ago, and when I came across a particular title I thought “I must have it.”

I put it on reserve and was happy to finally go in and pick it up today.

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Although it says it’s about de-cluttering (and it is) it’s managing clutter based on the principles of feng shui, a topic I’ve been looking into a lot lately.

While baby girl was at school, and Hubbie was beside me watching basketball, I got through about 80 pages of it… sure it’s a small book, but I think I’m making up in my lack of fiction reading by overdosing on non-fiction (that and the subject matter is so intriguing to me).

There’s a lot of psychological issues tied up in accumulating items, being unable to throw things away, and allowing dirt to build up in your home, as well as not tending to things that need repair in the house, all things I’m discovering as I turn page by page.

I’m going to have most of the book read by the end of the week I’m sure, and along with it I’ll have a sure-fire plan to organise and throw out heaps of unnecessary stuff in our house. Watch this space!

And just, not-so-quietly… how great are libraries? Like, you borrow something, enjoy it, and then return it for somebody else to gain satisfaction from…

And it’s all for free! 😁👍

#1439 The toy clean-out

Can you believe from the hours of 1pm to almost 6pm, with two breaks for lunch and coffee, I spent the time cleaning out and sorting baby girl’s toys?

Ashamedly, not even all of them. Today we tackled the area called the family room – it has the second ‘kid’ TV, my computer and desk where I do ALL my writing, and to the side of me, her ‘small’ play area.

Only it wasn’t so small when we started today. It had grown huge and out of control.

Baby girl was fabulous. Funnily enough, culling toys and taking everything out of boxes to reassess and work out if it needs to go in the throw, keep or donate pile, is actually a fun task for kids when you get them involved… they end up discovering a whole lot of stuff they’d forgotten about. Throughout the day baby girl ended up playing with new and re-discovered toys constantly while I kept interrupting her with “hey, focus… keep or throw?”

I kept her involved, because I like to keep her happy.

But when she goes back to school, I am going to focus on the out of reach spot in her cupboard and those A-Z drawers in her room that she isn’t as well acquainted with…

And cull it all. Mwa ha ha.

Today she was absolutely brilliant in her brutal ability to say ‘throw’ for things that honestly, I hesitated and asked “really?” about too many times that I care to admit.

And to have gotten rid of so much stuff is honestly liberating… and now, EXHAUSTING. 😴

 

 

#1396 A new decade and the fridge cleanse

So many people are talking about it.

Watch out. Christmas is the prime focus RIGHT NOW, but mark my words after that festive day passes everyone will be turning their attention to the New Year.

The New Decade.

Because that’s what it is, not just a new year… it’s another huge shift of time. Another decade forward.

Transformation, reawakening, setting intentions, clearing of old and making way for the new…

These are all the key terms for a New Year, but at the moment they are hyped up and on steroids because it’s also going to be 2020 in 20 days time.

I must admit I fall for the ‘New Year, New Me’ crap every time. I fall for it initially, and then spend the rest of the year reminding myself, with action, that I can change my life and myself anytime I like.

I don’t need to wait 365 days to start again.

Just last month. I’ve transformed my life in one very little way. It’s minor, but I can see it paying dividends. I didn’t have to wait ’til the end of December for it to start. I didn’t have to announce it on social media or make some big fan fare out of it… I just DID IT, and have been slowly moving forward, increment by increment.

Anyone can do it. You can do it too… like right now.

And then tonight. Like, I could have waited until the holidays, or the New Year to start to clear out the fridge…

But I did it simultaneously as dinner was being cooked.

I HAD TO. I realised last night as I was looking for a sauce to add to my chicken mince (for those tacos ;)) that almost ALL my fridge sauces had expired 1-2 years ago… I had fish sauce in there from 2015.

WHAT??? It moved houses with us and was even expired then! Get out!

And you know what, a couple of these bottles had no expiry date… simply a ‘refrigerate after opening’ message on the bottle. They smelt fine, and a google search told me they might be alright…

But you know what? Something my bestie told me YEARS ago came into my head. In fact, she probably doesn’t realise this, but this little thing she said about her own cleaning/cleansing process, made such an impact on me, probably because it made so much sense.

She was throwing out old clothes, and coming across the old thought pattern of “what if I need it one day?”

Ahh, that old chestnut. ‘What if I need it one day?’ That question that bugs us and keeps us in permanent doubt over whether to keep or throw, with the former always the end result as we tuck our object back into the closet for an ‘in case’ day.

Bloody hell.

She said that when she came to that thought, she told herself “If I ever need something else like this, I will just buy it.”

That simple. No she wasn’t wasting money. 9 times out of 10 she probably wouldn’t need that item. She rid herself of clutter, and in that 1 occasion that she did have to go to the shop to buy something that she’d had years ago… easy peasy.

But oh the mental freedom. Not to be weighed down by junk, ‘what-ifs’ and ‘in-cases.’

That’s what I did today. I said “if I really need this sauce, I will buy another one… and actually enjoy it knowing it’s not 2 years old.”

So that’s what I did today. Shocking to hear but I probably rid the fridge of about 20 assorted jars and bottles.

Next week…. the pantry. Watch out.

Seriously though… it’s all well and good to look towards a fresh start and a New Year to inspire you to do something great and help your life go in the direction you want it to…

But also, why put off happiness? Why put off satisfaction?

Why put off cleaning your fridge?

Just do it, now…

#1387 My new mug

We all need nice mugs in our life.

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And that’s what I got yesterday for my KK. A very nice mug.

Of course I had to use it today. It’s made me realise, that we have a load of mugs in our kitchen cupboard, most that we’ve had for about a decade… sooo long.

Drinking coffee, tea, from the same mugs… day in… and day out.

A bit different from the Kondo method – I don’t quite want to ‘just’ get rid of them. Yes I want to move them on, donate them to a worthy cause…

But I don’t ‘just’ want the spot where they used to reside, to lay bare.

I want it replaced… with new mugs. 😁

Sometimes you just need a change. And often that change starts with the smallest thing.

Like, one new mug. ❤🍵

#1376 Clearing her early artwork

Here’s something no one probably knows about me.

I have kept every single piece of artwork that baby girl has EVER brought home from kinder and primary school.

EVER.

Now you may not think this is much, her being nearly at the end of prep and all and still so early into her education… but if you combine this year, with her 3 and 4 year-old years of kinder, and top that with the knowledge that baby girl LOVES painting and crafty things and even made it her subconscious mission to bring home about 2-3 artworks per day when she was at kinder, well that equates to one impressive collection.

I have kept it all, sure. But the place I have been shoving it all into (i.e. spare cupboard) is bursting at the seams with this art, and I for one had to find another way.

Enter the phone, and the idea.

!

I couldn’t part with these artworks, I just couldn’t. But at the same time I HAD SO MANY. At this rate I should have bought the house next door just to accommodate her take-home stuff, and that would have been one expensive storage solution.

So I decided to do with her artwork, what I do with all those photos I take that I don’t develop.

I store them digitally.

I set about today taking photos of every single piece of her art from kinder years. I’ll get to primary school in due time 😉 I lay them out and snapped away, throwing out piles and piles of paper to feed the recycling bin, while I kept what is a minutely small pile in comparison.

Well I have to keep something, duh.

I feel better already. And though it’s only the beginning of my clearing process, the weight has already begun to lift off my shoulders…

 

 

#1304 The joy of weeding

The first thing I did when baby girl and I got home after school pick-up?

Put my feet up? 

Have a coffee?

Read a mag?

No no no.

I put on my gardening gloves and pulled out weeds.

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I LOVED IT. I was outside and at it for 90 minutes. I hovered and crouched over the garden bed, the afternoon sun shining brightly on my humble work as my hands got to it.

Baby girl was running around and digging up holes, Mister F rolled his winter belly around in the sunshine when he wasn’t keeping a keen eye on oversized black crows perching nearby, and even Hubble got in on the act when he came home from work, finding homes for 3 new plants.

All 4 of us outdoors, breathing in fresh air, loving this Spring weather.

It was therapeutic. Pulling out weeds in your garden, or your life garden… same same. Either way my body aches from the new positions I was in, and I am thoroughly exhausted…

But I love it. And I want more. ❤☘

#1252 Sawing away at negativity

Today I took out the saw. Both in the literal and metaphorical sense.

The first time it was intentional. I literally went to the garage, got out Hubbie’s saw, and took to the task of pruning old branches from my rose bushes with focus and determination. I knew what I had to do. I had been planning to do it for months. I took joy in the process.

Sawing. Cleansing. Removing the old to make way for the new. A new stage was emerging. Soon the dry leafless branches would be filled with green foliage and ravishing ruby red roses. 🌹

Tonight… again the same.

But instead I took out the saw… metaphorically.

This one wasn’t planned.

I didn’t go into it with purpose. It was something I had been kind of putting off.

But yet like the rose bushes, it was something that needed to happen.

I paused. Hesitated. Sure I knew what HAD to be done… I had known for years. I didn’t accept it though. Recently, this year I knew I had to take out the largest tool in my figurative shed, and rid myself of the negativity, the anger, the frustrations and deep-seeded hurts that had planted and manifested themselves in my body.

You would think letting go of such harmful things would be easy, favoured, wanted even… but often we hold onto our hurts, because they are so familiar. They are all we know. Sure moving on is most beneficial, but it requires starting again… and then there is forgiveness.

The thing that has struck me most about forgiveness is this: you don’t forgive for those that have hurt you… you forgive to lighten your heart, soul, mind and body, and give yourself the freedom to live your life unweighted by unnecessary hurts.

I always knew this… do you think it was easy to implement, in spite of the sadness?

No. This glass half-full gratitude girl has been struggling for YEARS.

But tonight, a change. I took little steps… and maybe the fruits of my labour won’t show themselves for a little while… they won’t sprout green leaves and red roses like my cherished flowers as soon… but there is sign of life.

Seedlings have been planted, and my saw has taken to the old ways with understanding and gentleness.

Yes, you can be gentle with a saw.

Really, there is to be no more.

Remember… do it for yourself. You are the one that matters. The saw is in your hands.

 

 

#932 The Paper cleanse

Maybe it’s because I am a writer, that I hoard so much paper.

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This was the scene earlier today when I was at home and at peace, going through piles and piles of stuff that has been accumulating in random drawers and buffets and shelves, all stowed away for ‘another day.’

And that’s not even all of it.

I have this insane need to keep things and have them documented. It’s part of the reason why I write. I journal. I keep a blog. I have this gratitude blog. And I also keep lots of little bits and pieces, info and notes and documents, all for the ‘what if’ day I need them.

What if?

There’s something else you may not know about me. I have kept EVERY SINGLE CARD I have ever received. Yep. Every one. Birthdays, Christmas, Easter (yep even random Easter cards for the very few that have ever handed them out) special occasions, even ALL of Hubbie and Baby Girl’s cards… ALL OF THEM. They’re in shoeboxes scattered all over the place. And although I will probably forever keep those given to me by my sister, parents and Hubbie, I have been thinking of going through the piles, scanning the cards onto my laptop, and then throwing the paper versions out.

It quenches my need to keep sentimental items, yet also serves the purpose of culling and throwing that I equally yearn for.

Because I really do. As much as I keep things, boy do I love when my throw pile grows bigger and bigger. That is what happened today, in the above photo. I sat in the middle of the room, and started to piece through bit by bit, finding homes for some things, and for others…

BIN!

I have gained an immense amount of satisfaction from just this task today, and that gives me gratitude to no end. Because I have tackled a task that has been nagging me, not just since we moved here, but one that’s been bugging me for years. Years of lack of storage. Years of lack of time. Years of lack of resources. Just years of not being in the right space and time and capacity to sift and throw and itemise, but today, today I was finally going through all those piles and hacking them to pieces.

It feels soooo good.

Most of my stuff now has a home. And the other stuff now lives in my bin.

Ahhh. To be continued tomorrow… 🙂

 

#906 Signs and symmetry

Did you have a good day today? Some unexpected positivity come your way?

Well let me enlighten you. It only occurred to me personally as I wrote down the date a short time ago.

The 8th day, of the 8th month, of the year two thousand and…

18.

The Chinese place huge importance on the number 8 and believe it to hold particular luck, with the number itself in Chinese sounding like the word meaning to ‘generate wealth.’

Nothing significant happened to me today, nothing bizarre or wild. But much like the mysterious power of this two circled number, another attribute the Chinese hold as lucky (the number broadens gradually, suggesting prosperity) so too were there a number of small signs and symmetrical circumstances, none of which escaped my all-too-suspicious curious mind.

Like this morning, when we madly rushed out the house to get to a shop where I was going to check out some clothes for my birthday… and despite being there the day before, and knowing it opened at 10am… there was a sign on the door apologising for the late start today of midday instead.

Wow. Well that wasn’t meant to be. I accepted that sign whole-heartedly from the Universe and MOVED ON immediately.

Then later I was speaking to someone who was telling me about signs.

“When things are meant to happen, they will.”

Timing was everything. Not in the sense that we could haphazardly manage it and create it for ourselves – more so that we were immune to any authority over IT, and that when it was ready, it would announce itself, properly.

As I later rushed to my car, the droplets of rain coming down from the hovering dark clouds above turned into a steady pitter-patter that plastered rain-streaked drops all over my clothes as I jumped in.

Within a minute, the heavens opened. Talk about timing.

There it was again. Timing.

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The world blurred.

I have always loved the rain. There is a kind of therapeutic, healing and cleansing quality to the natural sensation.

As I watched poor souls rushing around outside, trying to find cover against the random Melbourne onslaught, I found release, solace and renewed Hope, in the rain that had held off long enough until I was under shelter.

Not that I want to avoid it. We could all do with a good washing from Mother Nature every now and then.

But it was brief, it was brutal, and most of all it was beautiful.

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And then, just minutes after darkness descended, sunlight appeared, and…

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A small rainbow. Well what do you know.

And I was around to see all of that.

Once again… timing.

A perfectly symmetrical day of words and wisdom.

It seems the number 8 holds prosperity and promise in more ways than one…