#497 Mt Eliza (Freezing) Farmers Market

The Mt Eliza Farmers Market occurs on the 4th Sunday of every month, and it only took 8 months after moving to the Peninsula, and diving into the depths of freezing-arse weather, to get on down there during our hibernation cold-spell.

We rugged ourselves up and headed over this morning. A $2 per adult ‘voluntary’ donation applies per entry, however there is no sign telling you you can make a choice either to, or not to. It goes to a local rotary club, so it lessens the impact of robbing you of your free will, I guess.

It was a brief and biting visit. The wintery winds steered us around quickly, but really, it isn’t much of an hour long walk unless you are of course, talking to all of the stallholders, trying all of their produce, or stopping at a nearby café, or the food and drink stalls within the market, to satiate your appetite.

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The stallholders we spoke to were lovely and friendly, providing plenty of info, and we walked away from it with a couple of little goodies:

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From top clockwise: a bag of pink lady apples from an orchard in Red Hill; organic free range eggs from Willow Zen (I have an obsession with ‘proper’ free range eggs from free range hens, and hearing that these hens have a couple of doggies guarding them from fox and coyotes, sounded about as farm-like and free as you can get); salted caramel coated popcorn from Crack[le] Corn; and finally, Manuka Honey 30+ from Pure Peninsula Honey.

I’m really curious to see how the apples taste straight from a farm, rather than a supermarket shelf. I love the idea of having produce from within the state’s region accessible for all to enjoy, and am proud and grateful to live in a part of the world where markets like this encourage and support the fact.

Wandering the market grounds in the Mt Eliza township on a Sunday? Yep, grateful. Yep, tick.

#493 Emerging light of the shortest day

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Does that picture look like something from a science fiction movie?

In fact, I took the above photo on my way in to work this morning. I had to capture something to mark this most exciting of days, and when I saw the image before me, the soft mist turning the horizon into a hazy dream, boats still and sleeping in the foreground, while behind the tall buildings and bright red lights of civilisation, there shone something more.

Something grand.

Something promising.

Something, to HOPE for.

Because today is the shortest day of the year. From now on out, the daylight in each day can only grow incrementally, and with that increase, comes the prospect of brilliant sunshine-y times ahead.

I know we are only 21 days into Winter. However, a glass half-full sunshine loving Leo as myself needs something to look forward to, and the shortest day of the year during Winter, is about the most exciting thing to happen today.

Exciting, and gratifying.

And so it helps, it fell on a day that ended up turning rainy, grey and miserable.

But that’s ok. Because the only way is up.

#481 The Trampoline

I mean, of course I was going to be grateful we had bought baby girl a trampoline, right?

Right???

Well….. (breaths out) let’s discuss the last week.

Firstly, last Sunday as we finished putting the ‘thing’ up over 3 hours, Hubbie said to me “I never had a trampoline as a kid,” and then proceeded to jump as high as he could in the middle of the mat while baby girl and I bounced around crazily around him.

“I know, right?” I said. “it’s like we’re fulfilling our childhood dreams through her!”

So bloody cool. When you give your kids things you never had as a child, you feel more than proud… you feel fulfilled. Special. You feel like you’ve come full circle, and now that you have a 10 foot trampoline in your backyard, you are somehow complete.

I had also thought, now that her day naps were mostly gone, that the trampoline would give me that little bit of ‘me’ time while baby girl went crazy outside, prepping herself for the most awesomest of awesome sleeps that night. I was like ‘this will be great, I can write again.’

Then on Monday, she was jumping… and wanted me to jump with her.

On Tuesday, I sent her out there on her own, and yet again – she wanted me to jump with her.

Wednesday I started work late, and sure enough, as Hubbie was checking out our gutters around the side of the house that morning, she was pleading with me: “please please!”

Now, I don’t know about you, YOU being any other person out there, or if YOU is a fellow Mum or parent, but I ALWAYS have shit to do around the house. Cleaning, food prep, washing, do this, sort that, we still have boxes here, catch up on writing, grocery shopping, and the list goes on and on and on. I don’t really have time for jumping. I wish that was all I had to worry about – how much bloody jumping I can cram into one day. But I don’t. I start with a rough list, and if I’m lucky I complete it. I don’t usually have time for much more.

Today, AGAIN. Now on all these other occasions I complied, and jumped with her for a little. I told her I was cold, sick, had to go to work, whatever. And all those times I wasn’t lying. But I also told her that she had to jump on her own – we had bought this trampoline for her to jump, not for Mummy to jump!

(Just thinking those words again makes me realise how lonely that thought is. Jumping alone).

I was going to try and sneak in some writing while she watched TV in the other room. And of course as soon as the laptop was fired up, round the corner she came, saying “Mama?”

She wanted to jump. It was after 5, and darkness was falling upon us. She only had a little bit of time left, and quite frankly I was concerned she would rope me into it.

“You can jump, BUT… Mummy is staying inside, alright? I’m not jumping. Just you’re jumping. Mummy is sick, she has a sore throat, she’s cold… ok? You understand me?”

She nodded obediently at me, just as she had every other time before eventually pleading with me to jump with her.

She headed out and I turned back to my laptop, and after a minute or so, she started to intermittently call out.

“Ma! Ma!”

It was more sing-song than anything, so I ignored it. But soon she came to the door again, knocking loudly, and opened it so I could see her.

“Jump?”

“NO!” I had had it UP TO HERE (the sky). I went over to the door and locked it behind her so she couldn’t go back out. “Baby girl you just don’t listen, you can’t always have your way!” I seriously was feeling under the weather, and besides, this girl needed to learn rules! This was not on, we couldn’t cave in every time she wanted something.

I headed back to the laptop with her throwing a tantrum behind me, yelling, and then crying in a pleading tone. As I sat back at the desk, she came from behind, and poked her head forward from the side, trying to get me to look away from the laptop.

I turned to her. These big, brown, pleading eyes, tainted with tears, a hopeful face, parted mouth, wishing and praying that Mum would not be upset, and Mum would come around and jump.

Fuck Me.

How could I say no? I followed her out and strictly told her I would stay seated on the mat while she jumped around me – I wouldn’t jump myself.

(What follows are some highly-skilled and photogenic shots baby girl and I took of each other)

And yet it was pretty fun. She jumped around me, into my lap repeatedly, and I ‘ate her up’ with kisses. We had an absolute ball, and then it turned dark, and it was time to go inside.

So in answer to my question… yes. Yes I am grateful we got her a trampoline… I just don’t know what we’ve created in the process.

A jump-a-holic, stubborn, cheeky and clever girl who will go to any lengths to get what she wants.

We’re in trouble.

 

#480 Her affectionate nature no.2

“Ugh,” I groaned. I was over it. Baby girl was going for yet another book.

Any other night and I would have just bared it. Tonight however, I was feeling ‘it’ again. Under the weather. Tired. Weak. Sore throat. The last few weeks this is how I’ve been… how we’ve all been. The cold comes, the cold goes.

Great, I thought. This Winter cold is ‘up’ again.

She came back to her bed with a second book, while I closed my eyes and willed myself to remain calm.

The sooner I read it, the sooner it’ll be over, and then I’ll be able to go to sleep.

I started reading an old faithful: In The Night Garden.

“The night is black and the stars are bright,

and the sea is dark and deep,

and someone I know is safe and snug

and drifting off to sleep…”

Baby girl was grabbing at my free hand, and appeared to be doing something to it… tickling it? Was she drawing circles in it the way I used to do to her hand, during this part of the story?

It occurred to me as she straightened my fingers. “Do you want to hold hands?” I closed mine around hers.

“Yeah.”

Awww. Immediately, all the frustration I’d been feeling melted away. She wanted to hold hands and have me read to her? This girl is the cheekiest and smartest and most challenging of monkeys at times, but when she pulls things like this, my heart can barely cope with the onslaught of love. Simultaneous guilt for wanting to go and sleep, versus enormous gratitude for this moment emerged.

Always more gratitude though, because glass half-full gal and all…

I squeezed her hand into mine and kept reading.

“Round and round a little boat,

No bigger than your hand.

Out in the ocean,

Far away from land…”

 

#475 Saturday Night In no.2

Last weekend, I was absolutely HANGING to get to this weekend.

Birthday bash? Big par-tay? Night out with girls? Wait, no – night out with Hubbie?

No, no, no, and NO.

I’ve been looking forward to this weekend, all week, because all I’ve really wanted to do was nothing.

Absolutely, positively, NOTHING.

I have embraced Winter in its entirety and officially started hibernating, you may think. And this is part true. In fact, a post about how great Winter is will follow in due course (true story).

But all I wanted this weekend, was to have no plans. Nothing to do. Nothing to rush and be busy about. I’m actually feeling quite anti-social, in that I’ve been looking forward to nothing else but hanging out and spending some quality time with Hubbie and baby girl. The madness of May, with all of its big celebrations and festivities, and just as many stresses and headaches, although all for a good cause, has just left me tired. Just needing me time. Just needing, ME, to do NOTHING.

Just for a little while. I know that in a week or so, or a few if this cold perseveres, I’ll be up and at it again, and partying just as hard as any 21 year old, as hyped up as any kid that’s just eaten a bag full of smarties, and buzzing just as hard as a beekeeper’s pants. I assume they buzz sometimes, you know.

But tonight, was bliss. It was so much nothing, that it really was the perfect remedy for any previous party sores and shenanigans.

I made a herbal tea when I got home from work, and sat with baby girl on my lap, watching Paw Patrol. She leant her head back against me as we sat watching animated dogs on TV. I breathed.

Later we got takeaway – where along with my Pad Thai I snuck in some cheeky Nutella Puffs (basically deep-fried pastry filled with a slab of yours truly), and along with a delicious glass (or two, or more) of 2014 cab sav, I inhaled. Again.

Later again, baby girl sat on the couch with me after I had taken a hot shower, and now while watching Dora, leant her head on my shoulder. Awww 🙂

A picture perfect night. Just what the doctor ordered. And still, the night ain’t over yet…

 

#437 Petrol cashier’s kindness

 

My gratitude came to me today at the insanely early and God-forsaken hour of 5:45am.

Godly indeed. Blessings certainly came my way.

Are you one of those people, where upon waking up, sudden thoughts and ideas and reminders, just pop into your head?

Pop, pop, pop!

Well as I was getting dressed for work this morning, I realised astutely, and begrudgingly, that I was fairly sure I had to fill up the car with petrol.

Damn it. The cons of working so far from home. I knew the tank would take me there. But the one time I tried pouring petrol in the city before my trip home, I was stuck in further traffic for so long, that I swore I would NEVER do that again.

I would have to do it then. Now. 5:30am.

Which I’ve done heaps of times before. No biggie. My car dash confirmed what I dreaded as I got in – yep, need the juice. Off we go, driver.

Standing in the freezing cold, rain whipping about me despite the elevated shade, it didn’t occur to me. Then, as I finished filling up the tank, it still, didn’t occur to me. Then, getting my wallet out of my bag, still, it didn’t occur to me.

As I opened up my wallet to get my card out, to make my walk across the petrol station to its indoors, I stopped.

Shock. Horror.

My card wasn’t there.

And just like that pop!

Another memory. 15 MINUTES TOO LATE.

The night before I had swapped the money Hubbie had in his wallet to take with me to work, for car parking, and put my key card in his wallet, just because, in case. I knew he probably wouldn’t need it, but you know.

I was being nice.

I didn’t even have a credit card. He had that too.

(Face palm).

I went back to the car, and got my mobile too. I didn’t know what I would do, other than I think I needed all the back up and technological gadgets I could get, for some unknown reason.

As the man at the counter called out “number 6?” with a smile, I grimaced.

“Yes, but I don’t have my cards! I’ve left them at home, and…”

I started rattling off random things. Should I call my husband? Should I get him to drop off the card? Both ideas were inconvenient – if I went home I’d most likely have to leave my driver’s licence with him, and that was if the cashier let me drive home. The other option involved Hubbie having to take baby girl with him to the petrol station down the road, just so he could give her scatterbrained Mum a freaking card from his wallet that HE DIDN’T EVEN NEED THAT DAY.

I waved my phone about. “Can I somehow pay, with this?” I racked my brain, realising that I didn’t even think our credit card had a mobile app, and even so, I didn’t have the card number on me!

And then as I was rattling off things sporadically, I came to some kind of end result…

I showed him my bank app, and asked “Can I pay the business through my account?”

Well, it wasn’t the business account I paid. But the man had given me his personal account number, and I transferred the funds into that. He didn’t explain, but my perception was that he would fix up the till, from the money I had put in there.

He held up his phone when it was done, and said “it’s gone through” with a smile. I didn’t step forward to check, as there was a queue of people in front of him waiting to pay for their items the normal way. I just thanked him profusely and left quickly.

But I wondered. Should I have taken a photo of his phone’s image, ensuring I had proof I had in fact paid? Would he report me to the cops and keep my money for himself?

Would my writer’s mind just shut up???

It’s sad that as we get older, we are often told to watch our backs, be wary of other’s intentions, and make sure we are not taken advantage of. I reminded myself of the facts – I had needed his help, and he had come through for me, going out of his personal way to do so.

And then, I said “breathe SmikG. This dude saved your arse.”

So, at 5:45am, I was grateful to the petrol guy. I think that station has gained a constant income from our family, from now until FOREVER.

#436 Tea and reclaimed Easter egg muffins

You know how some days you just need a tea? I’m talking to you coffee drinkers out there. I don’t have to reconvert a tea aficionado to know how good a drink of little-itty-bitty leaves can be.

But today, I knew from the morning, on this cold and dreary day, that I would eventually need a tea. My soul was asking for it. And how rude of me to ignore the inner wishes of my psyche, so of course, I complied.

But I went further. I had seen a fellow facebook ‘friend’ post a photo of some muffins she had made using some box mix, and thrown in a whole heap of chopped up Easter chocolate, to use it up.

‘What a great idea!’ I had thought. Hubbie and I are way more cake people than we are chocolate ones. However if I left baby girl to her own devices, she may just block herself up on all the Easter treats she received this year, let’s be honest. So I have most of it stashed away, and like all the other years before it, it would eventually get to a crumbly white faded texture, and then we’d throw the poor chocolate away.

But this?! Popping chocolate into a plain old muffin mixture? I could do that every week!

So I found a reasonably simple muffin recipe I had, that used orange and strawberry as an afternoon treat, and instead substituted that with a bunch of Easter eggs chopped up.

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I was surprised at how good they were. And as per usual, my soul’s wish for tea, was touched indeed. Ahhh 🙂