#1833 Plum dumplings

I’m like a bull.

Sometimes I get a thought in my head, and I just charge, straight for the target.

Nothing can stop me. No one can distract me.

I won’t be satisfied until I’ve done what I set out to do.

That’s what happened today as I went to prepare, “Knedle.”

Otherwise known as ‘dumplings’ with plums.

I had seen an interesting recipe some time ago, and then when my parents picked all the plums off their trees in their old house before they moved, well we had an abundance of plums, didn’t we…

And I thought, wouldn’t it be great to make this traditional recipe, using homemade plums?

My parents plums?

I HAD TO.

Today, through much effort, I got these done.

I am now satisfied, but I tell you, sooo tired. I feel like I didn’t stop. On a day when I was catching up on so much already, then I started making this time-consuming dish, now I’m just like –

DONE.

I have dessert to last me all week. If anyone wants to swing by, you know what you’ll be eating. 🀣

#1832 A foot for both families

Today was an exciting day in that we made NEW memories.

We went to my parents new house… and we were ALL together for the first time.

YAY! Happy dance.

As I walked the path between my parents’ house, and my sister’s house, along this cute, tiled path that crossed the fence line, I couldn’t help but think of that The Simpsons episode…

The one called ‘Bart versus Australia,’ where Homer learns that the American embassy, even if located in Australia, is still considered American soil… and so he does this:

It’s a funny memory that has stayed with me since I was a kid. Well I did my own Homer today…

One foot in sister’s territory… and one foot in my parents’ territory!

Parents’ house.

Sister’s house.

Parents’ house.

Sister’s house.

This is going to be FUN! πŸ€£πŸ‘πŸ’–πŸ˜

#1784 Old words, old works, back to who I used to be

I’ve been going through some OLD paperwork.

I have a whole collection of stuff I suddenly inherited (i.e. it was ceremoniously dumped here after my parents suddenly sold their house – or you could say I just failed to take it with me since I moved out of there 11 years ago 😬) that I’ve been slowly going through and checking out, for the past week or so.

There is a throw pile. Old bags, lots of school paperwork, dozens of plastic coin change bags (remember those?)

There is a donate pile. Think a glass chess set that I bought my Dad for a birthday, I think, which he never used… why did that end up with me again?

There is a maybe pile. Like these glass/photograph coasters, or that dancing sunflower with the saxophone that used to work on battery, but is struggling now…

There is a ‘whoops this isn’t mine better check with sis/parents’ pile. VHS tapes, some kind of charger?

Then there is the KEEP pile.

OMG, the keep pile. Loads and loads and loads and loads of PAPER STUFF.

Of course.

Old diaries. School work. Reports. Assignments. I have so much, and I still have one big bag of folders to go through.

What kinds of memories have I found?

All my work payslips pre-2007. ALL OF THEM.

All my high school reports.

The letter my Jeans West Work Experience manager wrote back to my teacher when I was in year 10… “she learnt to apply herself in the time given, but she was a bit shy.”

Ha ha, so me.

Uni assignments, oooh, I’ve loved these. I have a script for a 5 minute film called Doggy Day that I wrote and planned myself. I have an interview I did on my Dad on his life and immigration to Australia which I got good marks for. An article about the RSPCA that I should have sought further help on to get publication, judging by my uni teacher’s comment in the notes. Damn, should have chased that one up.

And so many textual analyses of books and film, oh my goodness.

High school diaries and notes with Hubbie’s name written over them. πŸ˜πŸ’–

Psychology, Philosophy, and Ancient History handouts.

My old work pass.

I opened one of my old diaries at whim, to see what day I’d end up on. One entry had me in 1999, 16 years old, where I had met with one of my oldest friends at our local milkbar and we’d ended up walking to the house of our primary school friend who we didn’t see much anymore.

I wrote how we had sat in her bedroom, it had been a bit weird at first but then we’d relaxed and it had turned into the good ol’ days and all the memories we shared.

My 16 year-old self wrote how it was weird, a bit sad, that someone we used to be so close to about five years earlier, we didn’t see much of at all anymore, and our conversations had turned to pleasantries and reminiscing of the past, rather than the stuff you typically share with your closest friends – “Did you hear what happened to her?” “Did you hear about the party last Friday?” – type thing.

And I observed in this diary, and wondered, if the friends I had then in high school, whether we would be like that one day, exchanging pleasantries and talking about the past as the only thing we could hold onto.

In 6 years time, would we be a bit awkward like that too?

I smiled. SmikG NOW smiled.

I smiled as I read, wanting to jump into the pages of my old diary and grab 16 year-old SmikG, grabbing her by the shoulders to shake her excitedly and tell her –

“Guess what? You stay friends with them ALL! A couple of them drop off, sure, but you’ll come to realise they weren’t real friends anyway!

Your true friends are still friends… not 6 years later, but even 21 years later!”

And 16 year-old me, would undoubtedly have gone –

“😲😲😲”

And asked immediately –

“Who aren’t I friends with anymore?”

And this SmikG would have shook her head with a cluck cluck cluck and said.

“Dear girl… I think you already know.”

πŸ’–πŸ’–

I’ve had so much fun going back in time, and it’s made me realise how much I’ve changed, but also, how much I am still exactly the same.

Still passionate about the written word, still writing stories, still experimenting in different forms, and still wondering about the future and life in general…

I wonder what SmikG 10 years from now would say to me now…

See? πŸ˜‚

Photo by Kate Graur on Pexels.com

#1756 Moving and growing

OMG, today was really important.

For a number of reasons. Firstly, this happened.

My childhood home was SOLD. Yep, the place where I was brought home as an infant, lived all through my childhood, to teenage years, adulthood, and was even led out of the house, parents side by side as they escorted me to the wedding cars for my nuptials with Hubbie…

That house, went under the hammer.

It’s momentous for all of us, but mostly, our parents. Mum and Dad have lived there for 40 years, so this is a huge change, but also one that was imminent, and something that is great to have happened now, when it did.

Being with my parents, my sister, and baby girl, all of us sharing in that special moment… it was mixed emotions, but it was EXCITING.

The excitement continued when I headed over to help celebrate a dear friend’s baby shower.

Oh wow. Can I just say, other than my immediate family, I have not seen people for like, ALL YEAR! Ok, so maybe not all year, but most of the people in that room I haven’t actually seen in 2020. Like, things have been cancelled, postponed, practically all birthdays were thrown out the window this year, so those we would have seen even a handful of times, we’ve seen NO ONE, at all.

But it was special. It was wonderful. It was exhilarating while also being oddly relaxing. Eating, drinking, sharing conversation, and enjoying each other’s company…

My God, I miss being social. It’s great to be back. And when it’s for great things, like

Moving… or

Growing…

I will happily oblige to help all the people celebrate.

πŸΎπŸΎπŸ’–πŸ’–

#1739 Day 241 of getting there: people over!

Today, there were people in our house.

There were people in our house!

There were people in our house!

It has been a long time…

Since March? Early March.

WOW.

It was so exciting.

It was my sis and nephew, and it might have been a quick visit, but still…

WOW. It felt great having company over. πŸ₯°πŸ’–

And the skies are already looking bigger and brighter…

#1684 Day 186 of getting there: icing and sprinkles to lighten the day

The really sad thing about this lockdown is the unavoidable mental stress and anguish many people will experience in some form, without even knowing it.

I know, I’ve had a lot on my mind. But I didn’t realise how much, until I stepped out of my box today.

My box, being the house.

I had some errands to run, and the last of them was grabbing some things at the local safeway on our way home.

But I had a surprise up my sleeve.

I’d seen online that Ferguson Plarre had some decorate your own cookie kits for kids, where you got 6 shortbread biscuits with jam, lollies, sprinkles, smarties and icing, for you to decorate and dress them up as you like…

Dress them up for your belly!

It wasn’t just a last-minute surprise I wanted to spring on baby girl. I wasn’t sure if they would have any of these kits left… but sure enough, I was lucky.

Baby girl literally squealed and jumped up and down on the spot as I bought it.

And then…

She decorated her heart out.

We sat together as she used three types of icing, placed lollies on the cookie, placed lollies in her mouth, ate a couple smarties, put some on the cookie, then ate a whole lot more.

Then she tipped over the sprinkles on the floor, but, eh.

(Note to parents, never leave an open sprinkles container on the edge of a table).

But she was happy. I was happy. Was it the do-it-yourself cookies? The takeaway coffee, with caffeine suddenly coursing through my veins?

It was a bit of both. But I had placed it already.

Baby girl and I had been out. We had been normal. I’d had a change of scenery, and without realising it at the time, it had meant the world to me.

I hope you’re all doing okay out there. And it’s okay if you’re not.

Just do what you can. Day by day. We’re all getting through this.

You may feel alone, but know that we are all alone, together.

This sucks for us ALL.

And if the opportunity presents… try to throw as many sprinkles into your life as you can.

We all need that shit as much as possible right now.

#1590 Day 92 of getting there: Shelter and the sky unleashed

As I walked quickly to get baby girl from school this afternoon, the umbrella was firmly in my hands.

Closed.

I defied the wispy drops falling from the sky. Clouds abounded, but there was still light… waning.

The kids were soon released, and when the wisps turned into a consistent drizzle –

WHOOSH! Up went the umbrella.

Still, baby girl chose to run ahead and walk with a friend, while I stood with a fellow Mum under the black shade.

It wasn’t that bad.

But that all changed 20 minutes later.

At home. We were warm. Dry.

And the house went dark.

Soon… the distinct loud pattering of approaching rain was on our doorsteps.

And all around us. Enveloping the house.

Loud.

Water spilled out over the gutters, making waterfalls on all sides of the house.

It pooled outside the windows, creating mini flows of river.

Ice descended too… if only for a bit. Hitting the concrete hard like a cracking whip.

We watched from the shelter of our home.

It sure was great to be home.

#1567 Day 69 of getting there: What happened after I got locked out

Have I got a gratitude story for you.

Today, I got locked out of my house.

For 90 minutes.

In the morning.

With baby girl, Mister F, hell, even the bird was outside.

Without my phone on me.

Before breakfast.

IN MY PYJAMAS.

It was about 10am. I stepped out to feed the cat, while baby girl was inside.

But then she followed me. And when she leant down to pat Mister F as he started eating…

She brought the door that she was leaning on with her… and it closed.

It’s one of those old doors that has no handle, it can only be turned with a key.

Only the key was on the other side of the door.

I looked around in panic.

The garage was locked.

The back door was locked.

The front door was locked.

Hell, even if I climbed like an ape onto the balcony, that was locked too.

And obviously, the laundry door was now locked.

So, I went around to the front… to wave someone down.

Pretty quickly, I saw a man walking past. When I called out to him, standing there in my purple fluffy robe, explaining that I had been locked out and needed to call my husband… well I must have looked genuine.

He took out his phone, asked for the number, and proceeded to call.

It went to voicemail, but he left a message on my behalf, nonetheless.

I thanked him profusely, and then proceeded to wait.

But I was anxious you see. I know Saturdays are busy for Hubbie. And I know he won’t generally open up voicemails left to him by unknown numbers…

It might have been 45 minutes later, when standing by the rose bushes, baby girl and I flagged down another passerby, a woman walking by with her daughter.

She was also, so so lovely. I wasn’t presumptive of taking her phone, but she was more than happy for me to take it and call Hubbie.

Again I called his phone… he didn’t answer. And I left a message:

“Please come home… we’re locked outside!”

But it just kept gnawing at me, and gnawing at me. I knew, I just knew the only way to know he had gotten my call, was to call the damn store itself.

Or, we would be waiting many more hours ’til lunchtime.

But how would I get his work number? I had no mobile. Calling his phone wasn’t working when it kept going to voicemail…

I needed someone like me. I needed someone with internet who could look up his work number online and get the number to me in a jiffy.

I sent baby girl over to several neighbours. Two doors down wasn’t home. The next door neighbour had moved out. But on the other side, well they seemed to be home, but they weren’t answering the door…

After baby girl’s third attempt over, the young boy came out. I didn’t hear him – his head just popped over our fence, and my eyes lit up.

“Hi! Can you tell your Mum we need her mobile… we’ve been locked out.”

She came over, and something like within 0.8 seconds, she had Hubbie’s work number up on her screen.

Praise the lord.

Hubbie answered, and he came. We had been outside for 90 minutes. The house was warm from the heater being left on. Our brekkie that we were about to prepare, was sitting on the bench. I re-boiled the kettle.

I took our stuff to the coffee table… and sat down.

I was emotionally exhausted.

It hadn’t been the nicest experience. Being locked out of our safe space, waiting for someone to come and save us, not dressed appropriately, feeling helpless, the rest of my day dependant on other people entirely…

You know what that sounds like there? That sounds like a homeless person.

As I sat on the couch, eating my toast, and drinking my hot tea at midday, I realised what I had experienced was similar in many ways to what someone living on the street would experience.

Out in the elements, with no shelter to protect them.

Their livelihood dependant solely on others.

Clothes that weren’t quite right or didn’t fit properly (I had fluffy socks on, sleep socks as I like to call them, and because I had literally put on slip-on shoes to feed the cat, the socks kept slipping down my ankles).

Having to ask others for help.

And in my case, I had someone with me. I wasn’t alone. I had a sunny morning, I was within the confines of my yard, and I was safe.

And yet still, as I came into the house, the sense of relief was immense.

I was able to walk into a sheltered home. Have food. Have all my creature comforts.

It changed my outlook for the WHOLE DAY.

I was able to get changed out of my sleepwear. Into clean clothes.

I was fortunate, that I had the means to wash my clothes.

Clean the house.

Tidy my surroundings.

Clean the bathrooms and toilets, that allowed us to be hygienic.

Oh how lucky I was, to have these taken-for-granted items and chores that we all whinge about all-too-often.

I WAS SO LUCKY.

I actually got really emotional during the day. I thought of those homeless people, here, there, everywhere around the world… who cannot escape their predicament, for whatever reason.

It made me feel so much for them.

I remembered getting off at the station in the city before iso, for my new job, and how the lines of pre-9am people heading to walk would just charge by the homeless person sitting in the same corner, head hung, almost devoid of life, every single day.

What had happened to them, that their life was reduced to this? Did we not have a greater responsibility to look after our fellow humans, more so than to just walk right by without a second glance?

I remembered an old work colleague, who said on her clubbing nights in the city, she would buy a cheeseburger from Maccas for them, instead of giving money, so she knew that her gift was of value, and being used wisely.

I think that’s a great idea.

And as I sit in bed tonight, warm, the wind thundering and beating the roof outside… I think of them all.

They are on my mind.

And I think they will agree, a cheeseburger sounds pretty good right about now.

All this, from getting locked out.

Photo by PhotoMIX Company on Pexels.com

#1552 Day 54 of getting there: chalk and the Autumn walk

With a day like today, how could we not go outside?

We HAD to get outside!

First, a bit of a longer walk this time. I love how we can go in the same direction, and yet depending on where we turn, we can pick from like 7 different walk around the block options!

We decided to go further and walk through a nearby park… and even without the freedom for baby girl to run onto the play equipment and have a swing, a slide, and climb across the monkey bars, it was still enjoyable walking by in the late afternoon sun.

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And then, the CHALK. You know as a part of my recent Target order, I got 4 packs of chalk.

I AM NOT ASHAMED.

I couldn’t find it anywhere. ANYWHERE during the height of the chalk phase weeks ago.

So I was damn well going to catch up.

So we prettied our driveway, and the footpath in front of our house.

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And then made a hopscotch leading up to our front door.

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The rule is, you MUST hopscotch your way to the door… no ifs, ands or buts.

It must be done! πŸ™‚