#865 Beanie weather

Look. I am no Winter ambassador. I have said that on many an occasion.

But when you come equipped with the right goods, suddenly all of those cold and miserable starts become a hell of a lot more manageable.

Meet my new beanie. This beanie not only looks great and has a pom pom on the top (a prerequisite for any decent and cosy Winter beanie) but it holds special significance too. It is part of the Carrie Bickmore carriesbeanies4braincancer collection, a campaign founded by the Australian personality to create funding and support for this most vicious and highly under-funded of terminal diseases.

She has been personally affected by this. Her late husband died of this horrendous cancer.

Our family has been affected by this too.

I purchased the beanie months ago, primarily for this reason. Any amount or donation towards prolonging life, and finding a cure, should be made paramount.

And the fact that it is also cute and fashionable, makes it all the easier to wear proudly.

If you too would like to check out Carrie Bickmore’s head range, go to the website:

https://www.carriesbeanies4braincancer.com/

I don’t need to try and promote the cause to you any more. The stories and the lives impacted speak for themselves.

And these are the kinds of things I ponder as I walk around the streets of the bay, coffee in hand, pondering life and all of it, and how lucky we are to be here.

It may be cold. It may be icy. We are in the middle of Winter, bang smack! in the middle.

But somehow this morning was also beautiful.

Breathtaking.

The stillness of it all.

The momentary pause of seasons.

Nature stops, takes a breath, and halts its growth, as this is necessary for renewal… lying dormant until the first seeds start to sprout, sunshine is prolonged, and the World begins its natural pull towards rebirth, once again.

It is miraculous.

And we are alive. Think of that next time you are having a bad day.

We are alive, and blessed. ♥♥♥

#856 Lotsa everything day

Today I was fortunate to have many things to be grateful for.

I was grateful for… lotsa.

I was grateful that we visited one of the last schools on our primary tour for baby girl… and we think it is the one. Sure, the school we last visited we also felt ‘good’ about. But this one gave me a certain vibe on the info night I attended weeks ago. And Hubbie and I agreed today, that it felt like our own primary schools that we attended, growing up.

It had a real community vibe, and that’s what appealed to us. The clincher was the realisation that the trees out the front of the school are my trees, and if you don’t know what they are, go and look at the background pic on my smikg.com page…

It was a gorgeous sunny day. Absolutely sublime.

I happily took baby girl to kinder late because of this tour, and discovered a coffee truck in the outside car park.

I wasn’t planning on having coffee… but when one is presented with such, one MUST HAVE.

I’ve never seen it there before, because I’ve never been 1 hour late to kinder. I must hang around and ‘help’ them on some other occasions me thinks…

I headed off to do some furniture and flooring window shopping/research on my own, and we all know as a parent, anything you do ‘on your own’ is gratitude enough, especially since such simple tasks such as wiping your butt and having a shower are often accompanied by a little person.

Our kitchen progressed that little bit more today… we have an extra cupboard for storage, hooray!

And speaking of the kitchen… perhaps the best part of the day was dancing around it in the evening before dinner, with Hubbie and baby girl, to her favourite song Go Bang by Pnau.

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Our socks may be mismatched, but let me assure you, we are family folks.

It’s a happy day when you don’t quite know what you are most grateful for…

So let’s just be grateful for it ALL 🙂

 

 

 

#852 Sweet reminiscings, and bittersweet goodbyes

Sugar prevailed today.

Some was of a transient quality, the kind you get when you visit a place you used to frequent often, a long long time ago.

That is a rather poetic way of saying that I caught up with my parents in a shopping centre on the other side of town. I used to go there fairly regularly, and I swear I don’t know what it is, but I miss the shopping centres on my old side of town so much. The three I used to alternate between visiting had a variety of shops, gave me a different experience at each one, and also, all three were relatively close compared to my now 40 minute drive to either Southland or Chadstone.

Of course, once there, coffee was in order.

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Like I said. Reminiscently sweet.

🙂

And then I had one of my last late, late work shifts tonight, because well, someone will be taking over the reigns soon, THANK GOD. No more driving home post 1am. But this night held something else over good riddance to crappy late shifts… a dear work colleague who I have worked with for the past 8 years, well tonight was her last shift… before starting the most important job of her life – becoming a Mum.

To see her off properly, again, sugar.

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There was cake galore, some brought in by her, some brought in by me. I decided to eat it all at once, but then I didn’t know if the ill feeling was from overconsumption, or the realisation I wouldn’t be seeing her anymore at work past tonight.

😦

Sweets that help us remember, and sweets that help us to pay tribute. Their unifying theme is the moment of gratitude we hold when we look back in appreciation and understanding… that things change, people move on, and people move away… but we can still remember these things fondly and hold them dear to our hearts…

Keeping the memories sweet in our hearts. ♥

 

#842 Scones and Schnitzel

It’s kinda hard to look for gratitude and try to find small things that make you happy in amongst shitty days, even more so when those shitty days reveal even worser days for others.

How can one complain about smaller issues when they know of family or friends in ill-health or distress?

It actually reminds me of what I used to say after my father-in-law passed away. Here I was, a new Mum to a beautiful baby girl, yet still completely overwhelmed by my new parent role and the life that came with it; and then there was Hubbie, equally besotted by her, while simultaneously still in deep grief over his father’s passing. And sometimes, someone, somewhere, would tell me they were having a bad day.

They would quickly realise their words in my company, and apologise for complaining. They saw in me, in us, in our family, that there were far harder things to go through. To manage. To overcome.

But you know what I would say to them?

“Everyone has their own problems. You shouldn’t feel bad about yours, and feel guilty that they aren’t big enough to cry over. You are allowed to be upset, it’s your life, your problems.”

Sure, little problems in light of big problems become an awareness of the bigger picture, and that enlightenment is major in itself.

But we can’t all be in woe at the same time, can we? Then we wouldn’t have those others around us, less in woe, to pick us up from our sadness…

At this time of my life, I think I’m in a state of ‘less in woe.’

So I’m grateful.

But that isn’t what this gratitude post is about. That in itself is actually huge, more so because I know, and I have felt the comparison of being WHOLEHEARTEDLY in woe.

This is perhaps about the most trivial of things in light of today… baking.

For a week now I’ve been planning on making scones. They seem to make them for any given reason at baby girl’s kindergarten. Parents getting to know each other afternoon tea? SCONES. Mother’s Day? SCONES. Neighbourhood primary school visits? SCONES.

A possum jumps from the gum trees into the yard and shits all over the kids play equipment?

SCONES.

Ok so clearly I am bullshitting with you but you get my drift. I have not made scones in ages, well since we moved here really, and part of that has to do with

  1. kitchen reno, AND
  2. having half my kitchen stuff still in boxes upstairs because I’m waiting on one more damn cupboard (COME ON kitchen guys!) to get made.

I’ve forgotten half of what I do own in the way of bakeware and pans and the like, it’s been that long I’ve seen half of my things. But after repeated reminders by the kinder that both baby girl and I, really enjoy them, well I said to myself “I’ll damn well making them.”

You require next to nothing to make scones after all.

I really wanted to be grateful for them, really I did. And at the end, I was, for some brief moment at the end as I indulged in jam and cream upon pillows on doughy lightness that were apparently ‘café-style’…

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But the ‘before’ was hard, because baby girl was sick you see. I held her back from kinder, quite rich since THAT IS THE PLACE SHE CATCHES ALL HER WEEKLY COLDS FROM.

Not shitty much.

She was weak, tired, and developed a sudden ear ache during the day which had her retreating to the couch often to lie down. I had imagined us making these together with happiness… the most she did was brush the tops with milk.

And then the ‘after’… because as I was trying to enjoy my coffee/scone break, breathing slowly, ALONE, in peace, once baby girl had finished her babycino… I somehow spilt my coffee.

No, it gets worse. ON MY PHONE.

I swore better than a sailor out at sea. OH MY. Baby girl knows her Mum too well, and wasn’t afraid. In fact she came up to me and asked “Mama, you ok?”

Awww.

So instead of being grateful for my scones, the preparation time with baby girl which wasn’t special, and then the clean up which was devastating (I’d let dishes pile up half of the day), I instead became appreciative of something else.

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Hubbie cooked a killer chicken parmigiana tonight. He cooked it fresh, placed passata and ham and freshly grated cheese on top, grilled it in the oven, and it was THE BOMB.

The best part to him making it for us?

I didn’t have to clean it up.

(That wasn’t agreed to from his original contract, but from the day I’d had, there was no other choice).

Every time I complain about something going shitty, really I am grateful… because I do know better… I know better, that there is worse.

P.S My phone survived

#819 What to be grateful for on Mother’s Day

They say ‘tomorrow is another day.’

But sometimes the crap feelings of the previous day seep into the next morning, and you are left feeling like the bad vibes just won’t leave you alone.

I was feeling pretty average this morning. After I swore I wouldn’t do anything to celebrate Mother’s Day for myself EVER AGAIN, my Mother’s Day presents told me that maybe, I was doing just fine.

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Sometimes, these ‘celebrated’ days are just too hard to handle. Polished and carefully selected social media photos make you feel awfully incompetent with any, sometimes ALL parts of your life, as you witness your immaculate family and friends, their children and Mothers and themselves, looking all smiley and happy and a picture of perfect family bliss.

They don’t show the tears. The fights that stopped just before the snap of the camera. The relentless arguing and disappointments that can precede the happy snaps.

Pretty snaps that, let’s face it, present a very brief moment in time. Often not at all a proper representation of life.

And yet, we still beat ourselves up over not looking as perfect as ‘others.’

Which is why, we must not worry about others and their social feeds. We find our own, real reasons to be grateful anyway.

We look for the simple things.

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The fact that mornings sometimes don’t start off too well, but we can still make something of the day, and turn it around.

The fact that we have family, and love, and also, great food.

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Some people don’t even have that.

Some people eat their lunch from a plastic container, their table the car park kerb, moving their life from street corner to street corner.

Some people are in hospitals right now, sick, alone and unable to move without assistance.

There are poverty-stricken children in the world right now, who have their sewerage pass them in an unenclosed hole, right near where they bath and feed themselves.

There are young girls being sold into sex slavery.

My sister told me that the frequency of ‘amber alerts’ that go off at schools is bone-chilling. Strange people loitering and hanging around the school gates, watching and taking photos of our littlies, trying to bait them over.

There are people, who don’t talk to their Mothers.

There are people, who don’t have their Mothers with them anymore.

And there are people, who want so bad to be Mothers.

Just because we may not know these people or see these things, does not mean it does not happen.

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So to have a day, where I was with my family, my loves, my happiness, spending cherished and truly special moments with them… my reserves were filled. My happiness was restored, and I felt again, that the simple moments with loved ones, are worth their weight in gold.

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#812 Next gen yard play

It was a sweet moment tonight as I watched a handful of kids run around a backyard in the fading light of the evening.

Our should I say, it was a sweet couple of hours.

I was at a relative’s house… well, me plus the rest of the fam-bam. In my cousins large and expansive yard, baby girl and her cousins, all ranging from ages 4 – 10… started to play.

It has always been a bit harder for them all to play together, just because of the slight age gap, and various stages they have all been at. But tonight, that gap didn’t appear so big, as they all ran around playing chasy, throwing glow sticks into the night air, participating in hide and seek, and just all around having a great ol’ time.

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The blur of the lights and movement represents just how fast and go-go-go it was out there.

It was made more sweet, because they were our kids. Me, and my cousins.’ We had our own set of memories and times spent having fun together, and now our kids were all coming to an age where they could more easily interact with one another, giving each other memories that I just know they will hold dear forever… I know that, because I hold mine dearly to my chest too.

And inside I then went, to talk to my own family and cousins about our own reminiscing times, and both memories I had been involved in, and times I had not been around for, were equally fascinating to me, because they all shared the common needle and thread work that is, our extended family.

We were all a part of it, through time, through generations, through blood.

Not only were the kids outside having a ball amongst themselves, but it allowed us to do the most important and relaxing thing of all –

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Cake, and coffee. Vanilla slice YES PLEASE.

 

#804 Pre-work cafe writing

Today, I did that little thing that I do sometimes… I left the house for work at 7am, even though I didn’t have to start until 9:30am.

No, it doesn’t take me 2 and a half hours to get to work. It takes me 1 hour when things are going well – so where were those other 90 minutes going?

I got to work and parked. I then walked

down the path to my destination of choice –

A CAFE.

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I had brought my laptop in with me, so as I woke up with an indulgent egg and hash muffin, so too did the words on the screen light up and come alive…

With the help of some caffeine too.

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I never would have thought that I’d ever forgo sleep to get up and get some ‘me time’ in. It’s not purely the ‘me time’ that dictates what time I get up though: I want to get up and out of the house early so that baby girl isn’t upset if she sees me leave for work.

Avoiding an angry and sad child is a STRONG motivator. Wanting some writing time, is the extra icing on the cake.

It was a perfect and relaxed start to the day. The more I ‘cafe write’ the more I feel absolutely legit as a writer.

Wait a minute. I am not a writer solely based on where and how I write, and what it is I write, and whether I am published or not…

I am a writer, simply because, shortest English sentence here – I AM. 

And YOU are too… simply. Whatever you want to be, you already ARE.