#1627 Day 129 of getting there: Here comes the sun

Over this last month of winter, every time we’ve had a sunny day, a still day, or a day worthy of breathing “ahh” despite the cold, I’ve had the same lyric waft through my head.

“Here comes the sun…”

Lately, it’s getting stronger.

It’s from Madonna’s song, ‘Rain.’ It’s one of my many favourites of hers. Not just because she sings it, but rain itself is a dominant, spiritual, natural theme in my life that I draw on time and time again.

It’s cyclic emergence, and subsequent meaning, is so important to me.

And although she sings about rain, with the downpour of it being a release of emotions, she then goes on to sing about the sun.

“Here comes the sun,

Here comes the sun,

And I say,

Never go away.”

Here comes the sun

It’s a little like my yin and yang post from the other day. We need a balance don’t we? Life can’t exist with just sunshine, with just rain…

But at the same time, we’ve had so much rain in our life lately.

Rain in the form of winter.

Rain in the form of crap raining down on us.

Rain in the fact that life is a lot harder for us than it used to be.

Rain in that it is absolutely guaranteed that we are collectively struggling in one form or another.

It’s metaphoric connotation is HUGE.

Today, I didn’t wear my jacket as I headed off to do the groceries. Sure it was a little fresh, but generally, I was okay.

The sun was out.

I felt the difference. It happens sometimes in late July. There will be a couple of sunshine-y days, and you can just tell, that slight shift to crisp, bright, Spring days, is just around the corner.

You can almost smell it.

I am soooo grateful. I can feel it.

“Here comes the sun…”

#1561 Day 63 of getting there: Music remastered

Movement, and music. Two free things that have helped enormously during this isolation period.

I found myself inadvertently singing to baby girl at two different times today. Music is so prevalent in our home, so much a part of our lives… it’s always Hubbie’s music, or my music, baby girl’s music, or something we totally rock to all together.

I’m surprised our cat doesn’t have his own playlist. Oh hold on, the bird does. He just whistles along.

And for some reason, if I can sing a song and make it out to be about baby girl, I do it.

It makes me so happy, and I think she likes it too. 😉

I was getting my car warmed up as it revved in the driveway, ready for my once weekly mammoth grocery shop. Baby girl and Hubbie were running around outside, and a song started to play in the car, familiar, but better.

Because it was LIVE.

They saw me bopping along and came around to the driver’s side to listen.

I sang along where I remembered the lyrics… I bopped in between… if you can call it that.

“One two three, take my hand and come with me

Because you look so fine

That I really wanna make you mine…”

Bop bop bop bop bop bop.

“I said you look so fine that I really wanna make you mine.”

Bop bop bop bop bop bop.

Meanwhile baby girl started dancing along too. I pointed to her and sang –

“Well you don’t need no money when you look like that do you honey?”

Bop bop bop bop bop bop bop!

“Long brown hair…”

Bop bop bop bop bop bop bop.

And then I pointed to her dramatically to sing “I said are you gonna be my girl?”

To get:

“Yes!”

“Awww!” Hubbie and I gushed together.

I went off to do the grocery shop, feeling happy in my heart.

But I found myself remastering lyrics from another song, to her again. Earlier tonight I had Queen’s Greatest Hits on, with ‘You’re My Best Friend.’

Again, an overdramatic point to her, making sure to catch her eye to sing –

“My feelings are true, and I really love you.

You’re my best friend.”

We smiled at each other and laughed, and I know it was the smallest thing, but those little moments are the best.

They leave your heart all warm and fuzzy, and I know hers felt like that, because mine felt like that too.

#1513 Day 15 of getting there: when life gives you inedible pumpkins…

Just make pumpkin soup.

Well it wasn’t actually inedible. I just happened to buy the wrong one amidst the lockdown supermarket madness.

I think the variety was Jap, or Grey something or other…

Not to our taste AT ALL.

But just as I hate wasting food normally, there was no way that amidst inflated prices and consumer uncertainty, I was going to waste a vegetable.

So…

Chop it.

Roast it.

Fry up some other vegies.

Season. Stock.

And then BLEND… into a soup.

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Orange-y goodness for impending Winter and this new normal of self-isolation.

Just what the doctor ordered.

 

#1508 Day 10 of getting there: Rainbow balloons

The most pressing thing Hubbie had to buy on his ‘essentials’ shopping trip was…

CHALK.

In light of all this ‘C’ business (don’t want to use the word anymore!) and all of us having to NOT GO ANYWHERE (with enormously good reason I might add) kids have been expending their energy the best way possible.

Creatively. With colour.

Insert, RAINBOWS. 🌈

Children all over have been hitting the pavement, not just for walks and bike rides because it’s the most fun they can have sans playdates, but they’ve been colouring up the front of their homes, so that there’s a beautiful pop of colour for all the people walking by, to brighten their day.

And to colour up their own day with it.

Well guess what?

There was NO CHALK at the supermarket… of course. It’s the one thing everyone is doing at the moment.

Never mind – I had a back-up plan.

BALLOONS! 🎈

So today, we took to the balcony and hung them up in our own kind of rainbow design…

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A couple of the traditional colours were missing from the pack, but we did what we could, with what we had.

And I guess, that is the main motto out of all of this, isn’t it?

Doing what we can.

So let’s try to do, A LOT of good.

With a lot of colour. 🌈

#1465 Experimentation for inflammation

I did something pretty drastic today.

Drastic for me. Maybe for you too. Or maybe you have done it already.

Experimented.

But I went to the grocery shop, and I bought a number of items…

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Can you spot the similarities?

GLUTEN FREE.

Today’s buys are a weird one for me. Weird because I feel like, in one way, the purchases are a contradiction of my whole life up until this point.

All my life, food has been good. All of it. My parents came from nothing, and so when they came to Australia, hungry for a new life, a chance to start anew, their hunger also reigned in a very literal way…

Food. They had scarce amounts in the village where they lived, and once they were working, they made sure there was always food for sis and I.

They never had enough food growing up. Constantly hungry, wanting more.

Therefore, from their life in Australia going forward, growing up for sis and I, food was a friend. It was something we celebrated with.

Food was wealth. Food was happiness. Enjoyment of food then, was one of life’s greatest pleasures.

And it still is. Very much so for me, as those European values are an intrinsic part of my DNA.

But some things have changed… like us, and also, the food.

I’ve always been a fairly healthy eater, and I consider my diet to be moderately balanced.

But like I said, things change. Our bodies don’t respond to things as they used to. The food we eat has changed. Pesticides, modified crops, freezing… food ain’t what it used to be either.

And with all of that, also, my diet has slightly changed. Still good, still adequate…

But, I have an inkling, I could do better.

I want to see if I can do better. 

Therefore, my experiment.

Now I’m not all anti-gluten and WHEAT IS EVIL here. I’m not going to hold a pitchfork against anyone who eats a slice of bread in my presence, or shout at them for drinking normal milk in their latte. No. I am taking a really relaxed and structured approach, if there is such a thing…

Because it’s not that I’m anti dairy, or anti-gluten…

Rather I am pro-alkaline and pro anti-inflammatory.

This is where my curiosities lie.

I am trying to replace my regular gluten staples with the absence of it.

I am going to introduce smoothies, teas and drinks that fight inflammation or work to reduce it.

And slowly, SLOWLY start to experiment with new dishes that take all of this into account.

It’s actually a HUGE project. I was at risk of overwhelming myself the other day as I simply started pondering it… but I had to remind myself – “Slowly. One day at a time.”

“One dish at a time.”

I’m going out two nights this week… if I eat gluten then? Eh.

But on the days that I do, I’m going to up the green tea, smoothies and bone broths during the day.

I hate the word diet… this is more of an experimentation. I was talking to my sister the other day who was telling me things about keto that seemed to align and make sense with things I had already been looking into… and though I am not on the keto bandwagon, I am heavily interested in how all these different ways of eating differ, yet are starkly similar.

I also don’t like feeling restricted. I may or may not stop this after a few days. It might be too hard… one meal for me, another for Hubbie and baby girl… but the only thing I can do is TRY.

Food is not the enemy. It never has been.

Food is the healer. And it is now my test, to see HOW it can be so.

#1365 The Euro Grocer

Finally, I am home.

We have been in our Sea change destination for 3 years now, but it was not until today that I felt like I was finally one with my environment, and it was one, with me.

I was home.

Because, finally, a European continental grocer opened up at my local shopping centre and I CAN NOT EVEN.

😁🤗

I am ecstatic. Back in our old ‘hood I used to shop weekly or twice-weekly (who am I kidding it was thrice-weekly) at a great grocer deli that was near all the other big supermarkets.

The location and convenience was optimal. I could go to H&G, grab all the fruit and veg I could feast my eyes upon, and then anything I wasn’t keen on I could get at the $$$ supermarkets.

H&G had a huge range, good produce, and was value for money.

I lost ALL of that when we moved here. I have been focusing on supermarket produce ever since and IT KILLS ME. Sure there are gourmet produce places out here, but they are not just $$$…

They are $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

So it has been only slightly annoying.

But today… today! I was in heaven. The produce was fresh and inviting, and so wide in range. There were some gourmet deli products, European basics (which had become foreign rather than regular to me in our moving here), and we even got a whole pumpkin, for 27 cents!

What? How does one buy a 2.185 kilo pumpkin for 27 cents?

Why, when it is on a daily special of 8 cents per kilo, that’s how.

8 cents a kilo???!!!

Yep. 😏

But that is not all. Noooo.

I was walking by the biscuits and nuts and my eyes came to rest on the most heavenly of boxes.

NAPOLITANKE.

These are the best God-damn wafer biscuits in the world. There, I have called it. They don’t sell it at my local Safeway and when I bought a similar product from a competitor…

They were NOT the same. 👎

Do not buy imitation people.

I proceeded to grab a packet and tell baby girl that these were in fact the best biscuits in the world, while non-Euro pensioners walked by me with curious eyes taking a second look at the Napolitanke.

Yep that’s right. Keep walking. They are all MINE.

I grabbed a papaya for old times sake and Hubbie branched out with gourmet sauce, we got our produce and were out of there…

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I am so happy. Soooooo happy. Oh man. I will have to shop there every day until the novelty wears off.

i.e. NEVER.

#1330 I’m okay for the change

What timing, for daylight savings to begin the day before kids go back to school.

I usually LOVE daylight savings time. Increased sunshine means warmer weather, getting out and about and having fun…

But the timing, sucks.

Right when we are wrapping up our end of week holidays. Right when we are having late nights.

THE DAY BEFORE SCHOOL STARTS AGAIN.

Who decided this?

Today, we woke late, but yet, it was even later. We had a kids birthday party to attend out of all things, and so ended our holiday tired, weary-eyed and sucked out of sleep as we watched baby girl expend energy we didn’t know she had, going nuts on a jumping castle.

Everything that is great, must come to an end.

And I’m okay with that.

Sure the timing is crap. It never is the right time to lose an hour of your day, is it? But having a week off with both baby girl and Hubbie, means I have had a lot of fun, SURE…

But I am soooo behind in everything else.

Which is why I am so relieved for things to go back to some kind of normal. Tomorrow I am keen to get on board with my writing course. I am terribly behind on that. I am keen to buy groceries and re-stock the fridge. Things that I can stop to grab that is just too hard with baby girl in tow, become terrifically convenient when she is at school and I can dash in and out of places.

I can water plants. I can make phone calls.

I can write in peace! PEACE!

I know that routine is good for me, and it is good for baby girl too. She was only telling me the other day, after days of fun and adventure, that she missed her friends, and staying at home was “boring.”

This from the girl who met Andy Day the dinosaur-in-time explorer during her holidays. But hey, she has high expectations, right? 😉

And then, after some routine, some writing and schooling and working, in no time at all it will be –

‘Jingle bells, jingle bells…’

Christmas folks! And that means MORE holidays.

I am okay with change. I am okay with routine. Because I know, as is life, I will come around to this happy and free holiday place, again… ♥♥♥♥

 

#1212 Coffee seclusion

We did nearly nothing today, on this long weekend Queen’s Birthday holiday. Zilch. Zero.

And we definitely needed it.

Ok so we did go to the supermarket. We needed food after all. And sure, I washed some clothes…

Sang happy birthday to my sister LOUDLY over the phone.

We ate.

But then, nada.

Nothing.

It was soon coffee time (3pm or thereabouts) and Hubbie was napping on the couch… doing, that’s right, NOTHING.

I made a coffee for myself and a babycino for baby girl. We were going to sit near Hubbie and have our drinks and some leftover birthday treats from Sis’ big birthday… but then I was like –

“nah.”

Instead, we went upstairs. To my bedroom. Some privacy for baby girl and me, and quiet for him.

‘Girl time,’ I called it. Even our cat Mister F was not allowed.

We sat on the floor looking outside. With nothing to distract us. No TV. No music. No noise. Just us. Baby girl proceeded to tell me what I should put in her lunchbox tomorrow. We talked about the party, and cake.

Then we lay on my bed, all cuddled up.

Doing absolutely nothing. And yet, my soul filled up, with EVERYTHING.

♥♥

#1148 Balcony reading

I’ll be brutally honest with you… most Sundays I am heavily disappointed.

Yep. Even for this gratitude girl.

My expectations of the day are too high. Too unrealistic. Because it is usually the one guaranteed day that we spend together as a family, I often think, I don’t know…

There will be family fun and fireworks.

Fireworks almost never happen.

Housework happens. Grocery shopping happens. Stuff around the house happens.

“What do I eat?”

“What do we make for dinner?”

“Baby girl get in the bath!”

With a heavy dose of “I can’t be bothered.”

Today I got shitty and took matters in my own hands. I realised I need to schedule some ‘me time,’ no matter how small or short it was… it would help me, replenish me, allow me to do my thing and then return to the monotony of cooking/showering/cleaning.

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Reading time. On the balcony. The sun was bright and warm in the afternoon, and I read a decent amount of pages before everyone decided I had had enough ‘me time’ and joined me out on the balcony…

And of course by then, I didn’t even want to read anymore.

They wouldn’t be my family if they didn’t follow me around. Look for me. Demand I look and talk and listen to them when I am clearly doing something else entirely that demands my sole attention… no, they wouldn’t be my family if they DIDN’T do that.

And I love them for it.

And that’s the thing. Something that becomes tiring and monotonous, boring and routine…

Is much more acceptable, with more happiness at the task and success in achieving it, when you get a little break beforehand.

A little ‘me time.’ Like a book, on the balcony.

And for those playing at home, the book?

Aptly, the Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.

😉