It still feels like covid days, because the 25kms hasn’t been lifted, and everyone we know is OUTSIDE of those 25kms.
We’ve grown accustomed to this over 7 months now, haven’t we?
I was relaxing, trawling through facebook when I saw some quotes that floored me. One floored me in a ‘WOW’ way, whereas the other, less a quote, was more a silly dream, that made me LOL and LOL.
Let me share.
“Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.” – Erma Bombeck.
Like, WOW. Wow and wow. I shared with Hubbie and we just sat there, taking it in, thinking how a rocking chair is the most perfect metaphor for worry.
I love how quotes make us see everyday things in a whole new different light.
Then, something hilarious. Relating to what a lot of the world is focused on right now, the outcome of the US Presidential Election:
“what if at the end of this tv show the red and blue states melt together and the country turns purple and prince emerges and says “im the king now” and goes into 4 yr long version of purple reign.” – Ron Gallo on Twitter.
OMG! I loved it! That would be such a more preferable outcome, don’t you think?
I remembered other quotes that made me think. Made me feel. Made me see the world differently. I actually collect the ones that make me think twice, and I re-write them in a journal.
Here’s some more that I want to share, that I came across recently from an old stash I found around the house:
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill.
“Take chances. When rowing forward, the boat may rock.” – Chinese proverb.
This quote is from the other day, from my daily calendar:
“Fortune favors the brave.” – Virgil.
An oldie but a goodie. I find it interesting how I come across quotes, often ones I know, but they are presented to me at exactly the time I need them… At exactly the time I need to hear them.
Finally, a quote I came across in August. Actually, there are two really important ones, but I’ll save the second one for another time.
Since I saw this, I’ve left it in the kitchen, so that I can look at it often, remind myself of its intention, and imbed in me a sense of courage I didn’t think I had.
“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Eleanor Roosevelt.
These words have gone around and around in my head. Almost like a whisper. I had the strongest sense that I was meant to see it the day it came up in the calendar, and despite the obvious fear inherent at the prospect of doing what you think you cannot do, I feel it is SO TRUE.
Something, you cannot do. You absolutely can’t.
Or maybe it’s, you won’t.
But… you MUST do it.
And that my friends, is even more powerful than 4 years of Prince taking over the US.
I was working from home when an old work colleague called me.
She told me that a mutual friend of ours, our old work friend, had died.
She cried, and I said ‘Oh my God,’ repeatedly.
It wasn’t that much of a shock. In terms of, we knew she had been battling a serious illness for years now.
But she had been winning. She had been beating it, time and time again, and I really felt like her bubbly personality and upbeat attitude would actually kick its arse.
I really did. I thought she had.
I read her posts on facebook, and I also followed her journey, taking in eagerly her updates that she was getting better, she was part of the small percentage that was still alive since her original diagnosis, watching her face on the screen of my mobile, all happy and positive, the way I used to see her when we worked together.
Back in the party shop days, when we were both in uni. We’d usually work the same Friday night shift, 4pm-8pm, and she’d fill me in on her weekend plans, the clubs she would frequent, the friends she would go out with. She was so bubbly. So positive. I don’t think I ever saw her mad. EVER. Even when a sad or sore topic crossed her lips, all it did was lower her voice, make her eyes go distant for only a moment…
But then she’d be back. That happy girl we all knew.
Today on the phone, my old work friend cried. I just stared at my computer screen, my mind blank with shock. I told her I’d call her back to have a good chat… I was at work, and had to process it all. She urged me to check out the facebook page that confirmed the sad news.
We hung up, and I knew I shouldn’t have… not just because I was at work, but because my mind was already becoming a jumbled mess.
But I did. I looked up the facebook page and burst into tears.
Why? Why her? How? She was 2 years younger than me. She was 34 when she died, months ago, and we’d only found out now. My heart sobbed. I felt sad all over. I thought of her again and again, her fight, her courage, her strength…
I struggled to think of memories. They were from so long ago, over a decade now. But slowly they came back, more and more.
Her long nails that she kept immaculate, strong and healthy despite all the balloons we tied and dust we encountered.
I remembered her 21st birthday. It was in a huge hall and she had hundreds of people there. She was dating a guy she was rapt about at the time, but he ended up to be a bit of a douche. I have to say, I wasn’t surprised about him when she later told us.
But I was beyond floored to hear the news of her death today.
Why? How? How did this happen? She had a loving family. A wide circle of friends.
She was going places. She loved her job. She was motivated. Dedicated. hard-working. Fun and cheeky and hilarious.
How did this happen?
This afternoon, my thoughts went into a deep, dark place. I cried over my keyboard, and then Hubbie came home for lunch and I cried some more.
He just nodded. He understood.
I told him I was scared. “What’s the point of life… we’re all leading towards death, or heading towards watching all our loved ones die. I’m scared to love anyone.”
I struggled with these thoughts. To and fro I went, battling, thinking of her, thinking how life was scary, life was unfair… life didn’t ask you. Things happened.
Things just happened.
Nothing mattered anymore. All this coronavirus crap… seriously who cared?
We were alive! We were breathing. Hell even if I felt pain somewhere, it meant I was alive.
I was feeling. Breathing.
A few little things made me realise what was important in the second part of the day. I finished work, and instead of rushing off to do home-schooling, and start the whole routine of getting jobs done, I sat with baby girl. Watched her draw with some colouring pens she’d re-discovered.
We had our coffee break on the balcony.
I used my eyes to look at the water.
My hands to wave at the passing neighbour.
I smelt the coffee with my nose.
I felt the sunshine on my face.
I heard the wind breathing as it wrapped the warmth of Spring around us.
I was alive.
We took a walk around the block. I needed it. We looked at houses. We counted street signs. We laughed. Touched leaves. Ran.
At home, I read, on whim. I’ve been holding back, trying to not read as much in order to motivate myself to catch up on my Book Reviews for my blog… but it’s made my soul sad. My soul wants to read. I want to read.
So I read a chapter just before dinner.
Yes, if you looked at it deeply, darkly… we were all leading to inevitable death. Ours, or everyone around us.
And we didn’t know what would come first.
Bleak, yes. Not very glass half-full at all.
But we had this life to live… and to love, was to live. We had to spend our time on this earth making the most of it, enjoying the little moments, using our senses, experiencing them, and being grateful that we were granted time on this earth at all.
Doing what we wanted. What made us feel good, in our core. I realised I had really followed my heart today, because the news of our work friend passing was so upsetting, I had to do something to make myself feel better…
I am still so profoundly sad. I think of her and I feel like crying all over again. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe she’s not here anymore.
Despite everything, I spent my time doing something for me today. Something to make me smile through my sadness. Something to make me happy through my tears.
And it was made all the more meaningful tonight. Baby girl kept asking for kiss after kiss after hug after hug from us, as she lay in bed tonight. It became a joke to her, saying “one more,” every time we moved back.
It occurred to me recently one of the benefits working from home has brought.
You get to eat soup for lunch.
Think about it. Taking soup to work is downright difficult, if not impossible.
At my old job, I did it a handful of times. It’s fine if you’re driving in… your little soup bowl, tupperware or what have you, sits at your side as you drive, fairly undisturbed as you take turn after turn.
But then you have to walk over.
Do you have a one minute walk? Two minute walk? 10 minute walk like I used to?
Tupperware or no tupperware, it can get very messy taking a container of soup in to work… the food bag (does everyone have a ‘food bag’ or is it just me?) knocking about your leg as you walk, sploshing everywhere…
Don’t even start on public transport. Oh no. I wouldn’t even TRY. Walking to the station, the train in, then entering the mass horde in the city while trying to keep your soup upright?
I love making heaps of soups of winter, and I realised how many more I’ve been making, even just for myself, as I get to heat it up for lunchtime and voila…
Soup lunch AT HOME.
I was feeling kinda restless this afternoon, and I realised it was because I couldn’t think of a lunch I could eat at home-work tomorrow that I was satisfied with.
So I quickly whipped one up!
I checked out my bestie’s work facebook page, Nutrilicious Dietetics. She’s been posting heaps of recipes during covid, and one that I have tried and loved was this really simple, flavoursome, yet super healthy lentil soup.
So I made it again.
And it just brings me this simple joy, that I know I get to eat this yummy, home-made soup tomorrow… it is almost making me look forward to work!
We’re relying on technology so much nowadays, being separated from one another physically, and so it brought me much joy to see facebook spring forth a memory this morning.
I mean, I knew what day it was, I’m kinda counting the days to August (with nothing to really look forward to at this stage, let’s face it, but ‘eternal dreamer’) so I did realise it was the anniversary of our dear baby girl’s christening, from 6 years ago.
WOW. 6 years ago. Photos, with family and friends. My gorgeous baby girl, actually, a baby girl! Not 6 going on 13 as she wishes she were. Even a video was there, and I could hear the music in the background, was reminded of the joy of the event, and tried to imagine what it’d be like to be amongst people like that again…
No fear. All love. Happiness, laughter, good times.
I hope this virus passes soon, for everyone’s sakes. And then when facebook brings up 2020 memories in years to come, we’ll look back on all the masks, isolation woes, and toilet paper wars, shaking our hands and wondering if it was all a dream…
Or a nightmare. In the meantime, let’s look back on the memories, and look towards making new ones, hopefully soon…
It wasn’t a surprise to me this morning, when a friend reminded me it was now officially, the season of the lion.
The Leo horoscope, was upon us.
Only it wasn’t really a reminder to me. I wait for the changeover to this feline month, and the last month of Winter, not just because I love cats and hate the cold, but mainly for the fact that it’s my birthday month, and a celebration month for A LOT of my family.
But, things are a bit different this year. It’s guaranteed there will be none of the usual birthday hoo-ha’s this August, and so for the last little while, I’ve turned my attention elsewhere.
Well, it IS always there… I’m just really engaging all of my energies into it.
It’s a scary place to be. Putting yourself out there, exposing your passions and insecurities right there on paper/word doc/social media…
Allowing people into your mind, your heart, your soul. But it’s what I love, and so a part of me must be masochistic, because I keep doing what terrifies me most, inching forward increment by increment, hoping to God that everything stays smooth.
Everything keeps sailing.
I took a bit of a leap recently. I joined a local writer’s group. It’s no basement-budget style catch up either – it’s a proper, paid, yearly membership, where you immerse yourself with other like-minded, passionate writerly types as yourself.
Today I joined the closed facebook group for the club… and you know, it felt SO GOOD. I was kinda terrified of putting myself out there, as is normal since writing is uber-important to me, but I did what I’ve been doing all this year it seems… and pushed past the fear.
“What’s the big deal?”
“Why are you so scared?”
“Stop over dramatising!”
All very valid thoughts you might be thinking, I get it.
But imposter syndrome is a real thing, and trying to push past the self-doubts, the questions as to why you’re there, the fear of rejection or denial, of discovering you’re actually shit… all of those things are genuine fears that keep people from doing what they should be doing.
From pursuing their dreams.
But the thing to understand is, these self-doubts we all experience are completely normal, to some degree. We all have them, we all feel them at some point or another, and as long as they’re not physically or mentally debilitating to our psyche, if we learn to accept them and push past them anyway…
Guess what we’ve just done?
I actually came across a lovely quote today, quite indicative of the step I took:
“Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them.” – Brendan Francis Behan.
And how convenient, that we are talking about all of this courage, at this particular month…
During this particular season.
Try to channel the lion in you, and take a step closer to what you most love to do.
I’ve said that walking and getting out and about will save us during this time of isolation.
But what is also good for our souls, is music.
It literally, LIFTS the spirit.
No matter what mood you’re in. There will be a song to either,
soothe your mind
get you energised
or have you all nostalgic and looking back in time with fondness.
Tonight I had a whole array of music to suit my various moods.
First I was listening to Bedtime Stories, one of my all time fave albums by Madonna. Bestie mentioned it to me recently, and I had certain songs on repeat, like “Love Tried to Welcome Me”:
“And I must confess, that I, am usually drawn to sadness,
And loneliness has never been a stranger, to me…”
I love the melancholy and violins in this song. It was feeding my contemplative mood as I prepared dinner.
Then something else happened. Like so many DJs at the moment, a family friend of ours was showcasing his turntable work, and so as we had dinner, we were watching and listening to old school RnB tunes during a facebook LIVE, and totally grooving along at the dinner table! Like with Boyz II Men…
“Baby I wanna do, whatever’s on your mind,
We’ll make it all come true, if you roll with me tonight…”
Yep, let’s ROLL!
And then, as I cleaned up afterwards, I was suddenly in the mood for something else ENTIRELY. Insert another one of the best artist’s of all time, with one of the best album’s of all time…
The artist formerly known as…
“And if the elevator tries to break down, GO CRAZY!”
And what an amazing sentiment that is. He is totally telling us to just lose it next time something doesn’t go to plan, as opposed to trying to keep calm and hold it together.
Just let loose.
From the 90s, to the 2000s, and then back to the 80s, the music genres in our household moved with my moods, but every time I found something amazing that complimented how I was feeling…
I haven’t been writing as much as I like, and that’s got a bit to do with this cv business and balancing working from home with schooling baby girl from home, but it’s more to do with the OTHER.
The other is me fuelling all my creative energy into cooking new recipes.
It isn’t hard to find them after all. So many more people are putting together live recordings and sharing extra recipes to help us deal with this isolation, and just as well because we need something to do with all the extra time we aren’tgoing out.
And just the other day, I fell in love with a recipe idea I have been toying with for years now.
It was gnocchi. Rather, it has always been gnocchi. But this version was a sweet potato gnocchi.
Nom nom nom.
You know, some time ago I bought a packet of gnocchi from the shops, at the height of the shopping-covid frenzy when pasta was getting low to nothing on shelves… and I thought, being from a nice grocer and all, that this gnocchi would also be, nice.
I have only ever had, smooth, delicious, pillowy puffs of homemade or restaurant high-grade quality gnocchi.
So imagine my disappointment when this gnocchi tasted like plastic.
It was NOT nice. It honestly had a fake, manufactured taste, and I was spurred by the idea of homemade gnocchi even more.
So earlier this week when I saw Leah Itsines, self-taught cook, post on facebook that she was doing a live and making sweet potato gnocchi, I knew that soon, I would be too.
How great is technology? I knew I couldn’t follow her to make it at the exact time she did, but she was posting the video on YouTube later, so all I had to do was go to her channel today and voila!
The instructions were all there.
My gnocchi was deliciously homemade. It was so refreshing, to have it not taste like plastic! What do you know??? In fact, it tasted anything but. I think I made a pretty great first time gnocchi, and I even have extra that I have frozen for another time so that is SUPER EXCITING.
But that’s not even it. No folks. Topping that homemade sweet potato gnocchi was Jamie Oliver’s 3 minute tomato pasta sauce… another food guru I have started following lately!
And just as well that I had a 3 minute sauce recipe, since it took me hours and 26 dishes to make the gnocchi.
(All hail the dishwasher).
It’s so satisfying to make your own food. It’s amazing to experiment with different dishes, flavours and ingredients, and even to go out on a whim and try something you’ve been scared to for so long.
I can’t believe I made gnocchi, I am still so excited about it!
Next on my experimentation list? Well Leah has also made dumplings, and I LOVE DUMPLINGS… Marion Grasby has an egg drop soup that looks incredible… and Jamie Oliver and Oprah Winfrey recently made his Singapore-style fried rice together, over video call of course… ahh.
Who would even think about putting those two in the same sentence?
Sushi, with mango?
It’s the most random of combinations, and it could only come from the mouth of a child, as the comedic trio of Joe, Carlo and Andrew found out when Joe’s toddler uttered the words while running rampant one day.
Sooshi mango was born. And they have given us plenty of belly-aching, toppled-over, can’t-breathe-no-more massive laughing seshes.
I love these guys. There is nothing better than spending any free time devouring the videos they’ve posted on social media, and fortunately for us all in iso, they’ve been posting A LOT more.
They always make me laugh. At the moment bestie and I tag each other in new videos that come out, but I always end up watching so many more because I just can’t help it.
They mimic the ethnic background I, and so many of my family and friends around us have grown up privy to. Our parents and grandparents, talk and have talked in this abrupt, direct, no-fuss and mixed English kind of way, and a lot of the European descendants that hail from there, can relate to the sketches in their hilarious comedy.
Did I mention they swear? Yes they swear soooo much. And in the language of the people that came before us, it is even MORE funny. Even if you have a pole up your bum when it comes to foul language, you can’t not laugh at this!
(Ok, maybe you still might have a pole up your bum, but you might end up giggling just a bit).
(If you don’t then go away). 😉
I have so many favourites… damn I just can’t choose.
Ethnic Mum Christmas food insults. OMG. I know women who act and talk like this (and even look like this!)
Supermarket shopping done right at La Manna’s. Oh good God.
When Ethnics say goodbye.
Ethnic Dads in the garden.
Ethnic Dads playing cards.
Oh I just love them ALL!
Do yourself a favour and check them out their YouTube channel… or follow them on facebook and insta.
Oh what the hell. Here’s a taste.
(It took me double the time to write this post due to Sooshi Mango ‘research,’ and now I can’t stop grinning :):):) )
I am always on the lookout for ideas to keep baby girl busy at home, now that we are in the middle of this indefinite isolation period.
So I love when I find ideas that are not only fantastic, but support small business too.
Insert, Billie’s Place.
They’ve joined other businesses in creatively looking for ways to keep running by providing certain home deliveries to customers in the light of shop lockdowns happening all around.
I found out about these mail-out fairy houses on social media… and thought it was a fabulous idea. I jumped on board and ordered one for my own fairy princess.
Today, on this still and sunny Autumn’s day, we set about putting it together.
It was the perfect hump-day activity… though to be honest, every day kind of feels like hump day at the moment, right?
Here’s some more sparkle.
And done. It was as much fun for us, watching baby girl’s excited expression as she got creative and added bling and greenery everywhere, and anything that makes us forget what is going on in the world right now… is priceless.
There was taste-tasting, coffee making, and puzzle doing… it was relaxing, and with the wind howling and sheets of rain coming down outside, there was really no better place than to be at home.
Our cat Mister F slept for about five hours on the couch. It was that type of day.
Then at night, on random we started to dance in the kitchen.
If you’ve followed my blog for a while you’ll know that’s a common eventin our household. Somehow though, we just haven’t had much of a chance or opportunity to dance all together on a Saturday night.
It seems for the moment though, we will have an indefinite amount of time to dance in the kitchen.
What made it better, was I started off reluctant. All I wanted to do was settle back on the couch. It was like I was so used to doing nothing, that I just wanted to go back and do NOTHING.
But as the saying goes… if you can’t beat them, join them.
Which is what I did. I participated in baby girl’s little dance-off contest, and before I knew it, was galloping and pirouetting across the kitchen floor and almost colliding with Hubbie and baby girl but doubling over with laughter.
And I was so glad I caved in. So glad we mucked about and went stupid and got warm amidst a really freezing day. And though we aren’t all tik tok savvy to have recorded it for the world to see, there is something else I captured…
Our little tennis match. I saw the best idea on facebook a while ago. Take two wooden spoons or other long-shaped utensils, tape it to the back of some paper plates, then using some stools/chairs, drape a blanket/tablecover over it to create…
A tennis stadium IN YOUR HOUSE.
Oh, and the ball? A balloon. It even acts like a ball if it’s been hanging around the house for a few days, flying irrationally and without care through the air, making it more challenging to hit.
Let it howl. Let it rain. We’ve got the home isolation entertainment down pat.