#888 Fussy butcher strikes again

I find it interesting that today I should post about my fussy Hubbie butcher getting ‘at it,’ in my latest Food Reviews post over on SmikG, and then later in the day…

He gets fussy. AGAIN. Like somehow I attracted the fussiness.

If the law of attraction IS at work, please I can also do with holidays and lotsa spending money, thanks 😉

But anyway. My gratitude for today comes not from his fussiness, but rather what came out of it. Because we went out to dinner in Mornington tonight, just doing what we’ve been doing the last month or so of Saturdays… enjoying our family time together and keeping it low-key.

All was good, up until our meals arrived at the table.

His steak.

It wasn’t cooked medium… it was well done.

Ohhh, the HORROR!

Now, let me give you some backstory. The last time we were at this restaurant the same thing happened, and the steak he had ordered then was well overdone too. Even his Mum who had been with us, had agreed – and when a European lady tells you your steak is overdone, you are going to believe her. They eat their meat practically charred.

Back then, they fixed it. Hubbie gave them the benefit of the doubt, and hoped that it was a once-off. Surely it wouldn’t happen again…

So when it did happen again, he was fuming. He didn’t want to tell them though – embarrassing enough as it was that it had happened again… he didn’t want to look like that annoying customer that always finds something wrong with his meal… (hmmm?)

He sat, stewing, silent, vowing to never go there ever again. I sat across from him, the familiar scene playing out in front of me, as I ate my fish.

“You’ll be back here in 2 months.”

He didn’t find it humorous.

A waitress happened past our table, and asked how our meals were. I paused.

“Well, MINE is good…”

I looked at Hubbie. Deep breath. Here we go.

Hubbie was actually the perfect mix of both furious and polite. He told her he was very disappointed, while assuring her that he wasn’t having a go at her – it had just happened before and he felt let down.

I mean, this was serious stuff. He was a butcher! Do you know how seriously butcher’s take their meat…

VERY.

He told her that he had not wanted to say anything, but while she was there, and asking him, well…

She said she would get it fixed, but he was just over it. He just wanted to eat what he could, scrap off the char from the top, and go home. He didn’t want to make a fuss.

Soon, the boss man came.

(I noted it was the same guy from last time, but Hubbie had since shaved off his beard and so luckily he may not have noticed us!)

He was absolutely brilliant. He assured Hubbie that he shouldn’t feel bad about complaining – the reason they asked their diners how their meals were going, was to see if everything was up to scratch. Boss man said he would get him another medium-cooked steak. In fact, they had one ready to go any minute.

True to his word, boss man brought over a brand spanking new pink-in-the-middle steak within minutes. And about 10 or so later –

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Yep. ALL GONE. 

I was actually thoroughly impressed. They totally, had not given up on Hubbie. They were determined to make him happy, and went above and beyond in service and food to make sure he left a content man.

Instead of leaving the restaurant unfulfilled, they made sure he couldn’t say a peep as we exited the doors.

And he didn’t. They had done their job superbly. And I’m so grateful that they restored his faith in restaurant steaks, but also that we aren’t adding yet another establishment to the BANNED list.

Yep. Life of a Food Blogger and Fussy Butcher.

#868 Sunday’s ‘Bye Bye Boxes’

It’s 5pm on a Sunday. I have had a great day with the family. A great weekend in fact. The day was fun and productive, we were all in good spirits, and yet in the late afternoon, something in me switched.

It helped that Hubbie was geared up to make dinner. He had been talking bacon-wrapped marinated chicken since lunchtime, and with his music blasting out of our mini portable speaker, I knew he would be right.

Just as well, as my switch, could not be turned off so simply.

It was the stubborn OCD switch, and there were boxes that HAD TO BE UNPACKED.

Bye Bye Boxes time.

Ever since we gained an extra kitchen/hallway cupboard, the OCD bug that has lay dormant in me as I tried desperately to not freak out at the sheer volume of boxes and stuff lying crammed all over our house, well, it woke up, and like a can of worms, it cannot be contained anymore.

It doesn’t even have to be a Sunday. Hubbie doesn’t even have to be home. Just earlier in the week I was going apeshit over another hallway cupboard, reorganising it, and putting in things I had just discovered, all giddy with joy, all at the lovely time of 6pm, which is when I really should have been preparing dinner.

But like I said, I CAN’T HELP IT.

“My name is SmikG, and I am recently addicted to clearing out all of our packed boxes.”

After going through about three boxes this evening, I feel great. Plus I re-filled baby girl’s bean bag with more foam beads, which turns into a messy job even when done in the bathtub as suggested, so beware. I have two more boxes on the kitchen floor just waiting for me to get my eager hands into tomorrow, and not only am I unpacking, but I am doing the tough task of deciding, what actually stays. A lot will. But a fair bit will head off as donations, and I have been getting myself into that mental frame of mind, and reminding myself that

a) if it doesn’t give me any joy, move it on

b) just because ‘I feel bad’ about giving it away or throwing it out, does not make it a valid reason to stay

c) who gave it to me, and how long it has been in my life, is also not an indicator of its staying power – if I can take a photo of it and that be sufficient, then out it goes.

It’s a long process, but this OCD girl is finding it a fascinating and exciting one.

Just by saying –

Bye Bye Bye… Boxes.

 

 

 

 

#867 Saturday night at Southland

Balance. It is key. We have had our fair share of ‘Saturday nights in,’ in this cold and Winter-y weather… so that as soon as Hubbie and I were done with work for today, we were like “let’s go out!”

Baby girl echoed our sentiments. She’s the boss, so we had to obey.

Over to Southland it was. We gorged on delicious and comforting food at TGIs, a parent’s restaurant delight, as there is so much kid-friendly food, a kid-friendly atmosphere, and their desserts and cocktails are pretty damn strong awesome.

We happily lapped it up, before taking a stroll towards…

Totally Games.

It was Saturday night, and the first weekend of the school holidays, so of course it was packed. Baby girl went all psycho, running from game to game, yelling that she had to play them all, squealing at the subsequent tickets that came cascading out, and letting it be known to all in the store that SHE HAD ARRIVED.

It was hilarious, and yet so heart-warming at the same time. I took such pleasure in watching her run around and be so happy. We all participated a bit, but she was the main conductor, shooting hoops, squirting ducks with water guns, and bowling to her hearts content.

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It was beautiful to see, amidst the lights of the shop, how much her face turned animated and bright amongst it all.

And then of course Hubbie went all OTT and threw the bowling ball so hard it nearly went through the store window.

Like, calm down Hubbie. Let the girl play. Geez.

At the end of it all, we probably spent about $13 in games, that resulted in her getting a squishy tomato and two mini yo-yos, all of which was probably only $.75 cents worth… but that’s the store for you.

Seeing her face, feeling her joy, and joining in with her, was priceless. ♥

#839 Saturday night friend vibes

The night started off as a catch-up between old friends.

Dinner, antipasto, and a fireplace beside which baby girl could draw.

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Ahh, so soothing for a cold Winter’s night in early June.

And as with old friends, things can change suddenly…

Delightful tea mugs…

To cuddle time between bestie and baby girl…

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To then full-fledged passionate essays about the greatest artists of all time as shown on the YouTube channel!

Shouting! Standing from sheer inability to sit still! Fist bumps! We went from an easy cruise down a scenic coastal road to speeding down a tight and narrow laneway at over 100km an hour!

Success in a night is evident in that the vibe can change from mellow and easy to loud and boisterous, and yet the love, respect and admiration for one another in the room still remains.

It was one of those “we’re leaving now” nights… where we left 3 hours after the first mention.

But coming home late from a great night out, is a problem I am happy to have 🙂 ♥

 

#837 Kitchen moments

I don’t know what YOU think, and what the general consensus, if any, out there is of me… but this gratitude thing doesn’t always come super-easy.

Sure, I am able to find happiness in smaller things, and that I attribute to being so self-aware. I am aware that outside of our square worlds, there are lost lives; damaged lives; sad lives; sick lives – and so the littlest things, the smallest joy, the slightest thing to put a smile on my face – well that makes me happy.

It isn’t always so easy to find new and novel things though. Come the colder months. The day to day. It all rolls from one to the next – in fact, is there anything discerning from one 24 hours, to the other? Unless you make a concerted effort to find an event to focus on, that’s all your days will amount to… one long 168 hour week.

Monday. Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday. There’s appointments. Classes. Kinder. Buy groceries. Make lunches. Wash dishes (repeat by a trillion).

The monotony has my mind asking me several times a day… “what will I write about today?”

Think of what to make for dinner.

That’s it.

Dinner time prep.

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I started on dinner tonight. And I found gratitude for a moment of it. A moment that truly represented where I am in my life right now.

Chopping vegies. Baby girl was nearby colouring in, her textas and pencils and crayons spreading out to the greenery that was going to go in the steamer soon.

I had Ricky Martin’s self-titled album on. One of my faves, and yet I haven’t listened to it in yonks. And then, you know that moment, when a song you love, and yet have forgotten about, comes on, and just BLOWS YOUR MIND?

Be Careful (Cuidado Con Mi Corazon) – Ricky Martin and Madonna.

It was never released as a single, but the music and lyrics of this amazing medley by two of my most favourite-st of artists, is just… magical. It’s haunting, romantic and dark, a truly unique collaboration. I started to sing along as I cut my cucumbers, with baby girl in the background telling me about the plot in Beauty and The Beast.

“If I could reach out to you…”

“Mama! Old lady comes to Beast’s house…”

“Yes sweetheart… take your head, in my hands – “

“Me not scared of old lady. Me fine! Old lady make prince into beast!”

“Yes honey… kiss your eyes, sing you to sleep – “

“Why Gaston want to kill Beast?”

Sigh. “Because Gaston is upset that Belle loves the Beast. But Gaston wants to marry Belle. It’s not nice that Gaston wants to hurt the beast… Here’s my heart to keep- “

“Yes, very cheeky.”

“Please be careful…”

I actually found it funny rather than frustrating. And it’s all about perspective and gratitude.

 

 

#829 Follow the yellow brick road…

There’s nothing better than sharing a special evening with the people you love the most.

Tonight was something magical.

I don’t go to musicals all that often, and the last one I went to was to The Lion King a few years ago.

I guess when you go, you go to something big and great and monumental, right?

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But with musicals, they are ALL like that. Night after night, with sometimes day performances too, these amazing professionals get up in front of a full theatre, and they perform – singing, dancing, creating – a fantasy and imaginative world in front of our very eyes.

And each time they do it, it is done with such enthusiasm, energy and gusto, that you would be forgiven in thinking it was the first time they were doing it, for YOU.

Well tonight, we got to witness just that. We headed on over to the Regent theatre, both sister, nephew and I, and along with witnessing some amazing performers acting out a classic movie on stage, we walked around the city streets, grabbed some fine dinner, and in doing so created some wonderful memories to cherish together forever.

That mojito in the middle there that we had during dinner was the BOMB. It was the BEST MOJITO EVER, that I have EVER tried. There was a special sugary syrup which masked any alcohol that was in the drink…. dangerous.

The Wizard of Oz was superb. Very true to the original movie with a few little differences here and there, just to keep it modern and fresh and inventive. And the contribution of the special effects ramped up the production and key components of the story in a whole other way, positively so.

I didn’t realise how much I loved the following song…

“The house began to pitch, the kitchen took a slitch

It landed on the Wicked Witch in the middle of a ditch,

Which was not a healthy situation, for the Wicked Witch!”

… until it was in front of me, LIVE! Oh, how that catchy tune I had heard so many times in my childhood, grew on me as the performance by Dorothy, the munchkins and Glinda the good witch was performed.

There are too many amazing parts to mention, so really, you should just go and watch it yourself if it is playing in a city near you.

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And then as Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tinman and Lion got to the Emerald City to meet the Wizard of Oz, with the sheets of green background, green dancers, green sequins, green lights, and green set just emanating out to the audience, all I could think of was –

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Mint…

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Lime…

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The mojito. That bloody brilliant mojito had gone to my head. Damn.

I was a sook as is typical and teared up at the end, even though I know the ending and have seen it before… but not like this. A sign of a great show. Or just a super softie, you decide. But the Universal message and underlying thread of the story is something that is so true, so real to all of us – there is no place like home.

Sure we often think the grass is greener on the other side. We look at the world through rose-coloured glasses, with our Instagram filters on when observing outside things, but looking through the microscope when dissecting the little annoyances of our own lives.

When something upsetting happens, it is a reminder that the support and comfort of home, is all you really need.

At the end of the show Glinda is telling Dorothy how to get home. She tells her to tap her shoes three times and say

Glinda: “There is no place –

Dorothy: ” – like home.”

Dorothy finishes the statement for her. It is not a question either. She knew it in her heart all along. ♥

And at the end of the night, after the pivotal after-the-show discussion, catch-up, and coffee, I headed home too…

Because as we all know, there is no other place like it ♥♥♥

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#826 Early Sunday night

What may seem like such a bloody bore to some…

is a hell of a lot of interesting to me.

Because tonight I am grateful, that…

An early dinner…

An early bath…

And an early play time…

meant an early bed time for baby girl.

Which in turn meant an early ‘me time,’ for ME.

Yep, maybe boring. But for a parent, it’s BRILLIANT.