#1608 Day 110 of getting there: A trip down babysitters lane

Don’t tell me pruning isn’t therapeutic.

I’ve been going to town on our front yard. Yesterday I was getting rid of weeds from one side of the yard, all these fiddly, annoying, tiny weeds that take all this major wrist action to rip out.

But then I went to the other side of the yard, along the fence, and there were these HUGE MOFO weeds… and yet they came out so easily.

When I told Hubbie last night he said “of course, the soil is softer there.”

Ahhh. That explains it.

So today I returned to the fence side of the yard.

It was soooo satisfying.

I ripped out ALL the weeds alongside the fence. They were massive, and I got them ALL OUT.

After such a massive effort, I went inside, had my babycino and coffee break with baby girl…

And then we sat on the couch, to relax and Netflix.

I was really excited, because not only was it a show I was really curious to see, but I thought it might also kind of interest baby girl.

The Babysitters Club!

When I heard the popular book series that I started reading in the 90s, was coming to the small screen via Netflix, I didn’t actually think I would watch it.

Would it suit me, NOW? This 30-something year old (emphasis on ‘something’) watching some early teen girls go through childhood woes and crushes while looking after little kids?

But then I actually read an article saying that older folk (ahem) would enjoy going back and reminiscing about the characters they loved delving into back then, while also appealing to the new middle-grade, tween audience.

Hmmm.

I know baby girl is only 6, but I felt it might be something we could meet in the middle with, and enjoy together.

I loved Ann M. Martin’s books growing up. I still have original books from the series, stashed upstairs in a box, and I told baby girl today that one day she could read them too.

I gained a lot of joy along with many other things, from reading the series growing up. This led to me appreciating the form of the story, the development of the story arc, engaged in watching the characters grow, and the sheer joy of writing which I obviously developed over the years.

The verdict from the show? I actually LOVED it. Baby girl enjoyed it too, though she asked many questions, like at the start, “where is the Babysitters Club?”

“They haven’t started it yet honey.” (In the first two minutes!)

There are plenty of themes of friendship, some mention of boys, the issues of blended families AND even the hints of eating disorders, which I know to be true to the original, because I remember coming across the theme in the books I read so long ago.

A great Netflix watch, it’s light-hearted for the younger girls in your life… or just for those of us wanting a trip down memory lane…

#1606 Day 108 of getting there: The Last Cuppa

Ok, so for 6 weeks.

Not forever, clearly.

But today we headed out to grab our last, in-store, sit-down, cafe experience…

Along with the rest of the town.

I mean, really July. What trickery are you fooling us into? How gorgeous was today? And it’s meant to continue for 2 more days… only for the sunshine-y days to return again next week!

Ahh, Winter. You’ve made me kinda like you again.

You know, I have to say… it is A BIT annoying. And I think I am allowed to say this, because last I heard, our shire had NO current cases of coronavirus.

NONE.

And yet we are suddenly part of ‘metropolitan Melbourne’ (only when they want us) and yet our neighbours across the Port Phillip Bay in Geelong have 2 CURRENT CASES, and are exempt from this lockdown.

Kilometres wise, they are further from the city than we are.

It does not make sense.

I’m not gonna focus on it too much though. We have to do what we have to do. And if too many shires are given reprieves (ahem, Geelong) well then no one is going to listen, and they won’t be happy, right?

I’ll suck it up.

Baby girl took my cue from the other night, and had stuck this note on our bedroom door last night:

I mean, we couldn’t say no to a 6 year-old, right?

Everyone was out and having their last lunches, last drinks, last cuppas…

They were all still social distancing. Counting numbers inside and outside the cafe. Sanitiser was within reach. It was very much across the board.

And the coffee was GREAT. But, it all felt a bit surreal. I mean, you could tell people were getting in their last whatever’s before midnight tonight. I could hear the cafe owner telling loyal customers they would be open for takeaway every day.

We enjoyed it. And then we left. Walked down the main street…

And to the PARK.

Poor baby girl. Poor all kids. They have to go through this shitty time again. Look I get it, we have to do this. Baby girl is actually amazing and totally understanding of what we have to sacrifice again.

But, I wanted to let her run. I wanted her to play.

And she did.

I’ll see you all on the other side… but stay for the gratitude journey, of course, as always. 🙂

#1605 Day 107 of getting there: the cafe calm before the storm

It’s like I KNEW we were going into lockdown. AGAIN.

How did I know?

It’s like I had this freaking sixth sense about it.

Because about one hour after the announcement, baby girl and I found ourselves here.

But it didn’t happen on whim. The weird thing is, it was all pre-planned you see. Our ‘coffee date.’

I decided to surprise her with it yesterday. She’s been so good while I work from home, sitting around all day and being inventive with things to do and play with, to then sit around and be more inventive when I finish work… all events, visits, catch-ups, fun activities and experiments are off-limits these school holidays as Victoria continues to go through higher coronavirus cases each day.

So I wrote her a note, and stuck it on her door last night.

If you can’t read my doctor’s handwriting (I am in the wrong profession) it says:

“Dear ‘baby girl,’

Can you come with me to a coffee date tomorrow afternoon?

Love Mum.”

When she found it, she was particularly rapt. More so because it wasn’t just going out for a babycino and coffee…. no, this was a coffee and babycino DATE.

When we got to the cafe, after hearing what we had heard already about most of Victoria going into lockdown, well let’s just say I really sat back and took it all in.

Baby girl read out some words she had written and drawn on, and I asked her stuff like, “so, how was your day?” even though we had spent the whole day together already!

We had our little treats too, and she knocked a whole OJ down as well because she wanted to, and well I didn’t mind that she’d already had a massive cookie and babycino with 2 marshmallows, because hey, it was school holidays, and she would have had a lot more every day if things were as normal…

They weren’t.

So for that half hour anyway, we pretended all was right with the world.

Talk about timing.

#1604 Day 106 of getting there: Funny how we celebrate music

Every couple of weeks our ‘celebration’ song changes.

Even though for the longest time, the song has been from the same band.

We might put on our celebration song whenever we just want to celebrate. So like, today, after I finished work, and baby girl and I had our coffee break…

It was celebration song time.

The celebration song can come on as I’m prepping dinner. It can come on as I’m washing dishes. Hell, it’s been known to come on after breakfast on a Saturday morning, and I put it on extra loud just because, you know, make sure the neighbours are properly awake and all.

The most recent celebration song comes from the Queen II album. And what an album it is. The music as a whole is unapologetically loud.

It is in your face, rock, heavy, the lyrics are full, and it takes over all your senses.

And I love it.

By the time track 10 comes around, it reaches its pinnacle of loud. If you were struggling until now, well just go away, this music is too much for you. You can’t escape the music. You just can’t. Even the lyrics don’t have a break. There are no pauses.

It keeps going and going and going.

Funny How Love Is. Baby girl and I danced to this today, and all that was missing was the expansive field of daises with hippies skipping freely across the green grass.

It is so folksy. It is just something else. It speaks of love, love in its truest form, examples of love, and where you can see it in the everyday. I find it a curiously optimistic Queen song, and that’s not to say that they don’t do happy love songs. Think “You’re My Best Friend,” but that was written by bass guitarist John Deacon.

This song is all Freddie. There are no bittersweet tones, like in “Somebody to Love” where he is literally asking for someone, to love. This song is so brash in it’s joy-fest, so in your face…

It really is the best celebration song.

I said it was the second last track, right? The song that follows is just as good.

Seven Seas of Rhye.

That is a WHOLE other blog post (which I’ve actually written about before…!)

#1596 Day 98 of getting there: fiery hair, UP THERE

Look at that girl! She’s on top of the world!

You know you have a child, when their toys follow you ALL AROUND THE HOUSE.

The bedroom, the kitchen, the car, the other car…

The balcony!

We had an afternoon coffee break in the cold biting Winter’s sun today, and four of baby girl’s dolls followed…

I just love it. Anna’s fiery hair flapping in the wind. A force to be reckoned with.

She might be made of plastic. But she’s a reminder of the love we hold in our house.

#1585 Day 87 of getting there: the proper morning coffee

After standing on the Main street for a few minutes today, just looking around, going “where should we go?”

“Where should we go?”

“Where should we go?”

…I had to laugh to myself. We had so many options we actually didn’t know where to go.

I loved it.

Well we ended up in one place, where we hadn’t been to in ages… partly because of COVID. And as we took a seat by the window looking out onto the street – after writing down our names and numbers of course per the new protocol – we noticed that the cafe was a little quieter, there were crosses on the floor to advise where to stand and the place had had a recent fresh coat of paint amidst recent close downs…

But one thing, was the same.

No, BETTER.

The coffee was ah-may-zing!

And oh yeah, the almond croissant was pretty darn good too.

It was the kind of smooth but strong coffee that had me talking fast for the next few hours… and beyond.

#1571 Day 73 of getting there: the first café coffee

Today was a really lovely day of balance…

Home routine time.

Grocery time.

Family time.

Me time.

And the best time of all, was after lunch when we went out for the first time in months… and had –

COFFEE TIME.

Since cafes and restaurants have loosened restrictions this week, I know there have been people heading out, enjoying their new-found freedom, and supporting these struggling businesses in the process.

We have been inside so much. We have been doing things by the book, listening to the rules, washing our hands, sanitising every second…

But today Hubbie said it best when he said: “Let’s go out. Everyone is out. We’re the only ones staying inside.”

I don’t want that to come across the wrong way. We are doing the right thing, according to us, just as others are doing the right thing, according to them.

I guess we have been super cautious, and fair enough. And we will continue to be.

But sometimes, we need to provide concessions for ourselves. Yesterday was not the best day for me mentally.

But taking my own advice, after a good sleep, I woke happier, lighter, even healthier, and my mind was in a better place…

But getting out of the house and doing something with those I love, in a safe and hygienic way, was so necessary. So important.

I feel for those who can’t get out. Or who don’t have happy homes in the first place. Who have no solace. No respite.

We need to break the monotony. For the most well-meaning and healthy-minded among us, this isolation can break you.

I love baby girl sooooo much. But we have been combining working from home, with home schooling, for over 73 days! And all this home home home is just TOO much.

We all need a break.

And today it came in the simple form of a coffee break.

We sat outside. We sanitised in the car when we left. Baby girl was even wearing her school jacket on top (poor girl misses school).

It was short, but oh so sweet. And I am hopeful that we will have many more outings like these in the weeks – no, DAYS – to come.

#1563 Day 65 of getting there: the gourmet chocolate

If you read my other post you will know I had A SHIT DAY.

But we’ll try keep that drama away from this page, being all appreciation-central and all.

Trying to keep my chin up this afternoon after my work shift, I did that thing we try not to do, when we’re being all sensible and wanting to use things up in order as we open them…

I opened up a gourmet chocolate block… but we already had chocolate open.

I had to. Like I said already, SHIT day, and there was this chocolate block I had been eyeing for a couple of weeks in the pantry.

I opened it… and it was delicious.

If you see this in your local supermarket, do yourself a favour and get one! It had a dark chocolate tinge to it, and with its luxuriantly silky chocolatey-ness, and the flakes of coconut, I had to have 3 squares.

It was that kind of day.

But, the squares are super thin, and those 3 squares probably equate to like, 1 and a half Cadbury squares, so really I should have had 4…

Next time.

Then, to work off my anger add to my happiness, baby girl and I ran around the block, and I took photos of the only rose in our front yard… the sunset… shit like that, to lift my mood.

That sole rose. I get it. I totally get it.

#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. 😉

#1536 Day 38 of getting there: the never-too-late Anzac biscuits

I had the ingredients for these bikkies on Saturday, but after the time, effort and dishes required to do my sweet potato gnocchi, I was feeling like I didn’t wanna do any kind of cooking/baking task anytime soon.

Only the thing was, these Anzac biscuits are the easiest to make.

Either way, I had a break on the weekend, and today on this cloudy and rainy day, I whipped these up really quickly.

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Now I’m no massive Anzac bikkie fan. But when I come across a recipe that –

a) I have the ingredients for, and

b) is soooo easy

I just can’t help myself. It’s like the recipe is calling me.

These gave off the most wonderful smell as they baked in the oven, and the crunch and deliciousness were most definitely there when it came time for taste-testing.

As I get progressively more and more ‘over’ store-bought sweets, I am so happy to now have a massive batch of these guys to keep my coffee company over the next week. 😉