#1608 Day 110 of getting there: A trip down babysitters lane

Don’t tell me pruning isn’t therapeutic.

I’ve been going to town on our front yard. Yesterday I was getting rid of weeds from one side of the yard, all these fiddly, annoying, tiny weeds that take all this major wrist action to rip out.

But then I went to the other side of the yard, along the fence, and there were these HUGE MOFO weeds… and yet they came out so easily.

When I told Hubbie last night he said “of course, the soil is softer there.”

Ahhh. That explains it.

So today I returned to the fence side of the yard.

It was soooo satisfying.

I ripped out ALL the weeds alongside the fence. They were massive, and I got them ALL OUT.

After such a massive effort, I went inside, had my babycino and coffee break with baby girl…

And then we sat on the couch, to relax and Netflix.

I was really excited, because not only was it a show I was really curious to see, but I thought it might also kind of interest baby girl.

The Babysitters Club!

When I heard the popular book series that I started reading in the 90s, was coming to the small screen via Netflix, I didn’t actually think I would watch it.

Would it suit me, NOW? This 30-something year old (emphasis on ‘something’) watching some early teen girls go through childhood woes and crushes while looking after little kids?

But then I actually read an article saying that older folk (ahem) would enjoy going back and reminiscing about the characters they loved delving into back then, while also appealing to the new middle-grade, tween audience.

Hmmm.

I know baby girl is only 6, but I felt it might be something we could meet in the middle with, and enjoy together.

I loved Ann M. Martin’s books growing up. I still have original books from the series, stashed upstairs in a box, and I told baby girl today that one day she could read them too.

I gained a lot of joy along with many other things, from reading the series growing up. This led to me appreciating the form of the story, the development of the story arc, engaged in watching the characters grow, and the sheer joy of writing which I obviously developed over the years.

The verdict from the show? I actually LOVED it. Baby girl enjoyed it too, though she asked many questions, like at the start, “where is the Babysitters Club?”

“They haven’t started it yet honey.” (In the first two minutes!)

There are plenty of themes of friendship, some mention of boys, the issues of blended families AND even the hints of eating disorders, which I know to be true to the original, because I remember coming across the theme in the books I read so long ago.

A great Netflix watch, it’s light-hearted for the younger girls in your life… or just for those of us wanting a trip down memory lane…

#1606 Day 108 of getting there: The Last Cuppa

Ok, so for 6 weeks.

Not forever, clearly.

But today we headed out to grab our last, in-store, sit-down, cafe experience…

Along with the rest of the town.

I mean, really July. What trickery are you fooling us into? How gorgeous was today? And it’s meant to continue for 2 more days… only for the sunshine-y days to return again next week!

Ahh, Winter. You’ve made me kinda like you again.

You know, I have to say… it is A BIT annoying. And I think I am allowed to say this, because last I heard, our shire had NO current cases of coronavirus.

NONE.

And yet we are suddenly part of ‘metropolitan Melbourne’ (only when they want us) and yet our neighbours across the Port Phillip Bay in Geelong have 2 CURRENT CASES, and are exempt from this lockdown.

Kilometres wise, they are further from the city than we are.

It does not make sense.

I’m not gonna focus on it too much though. We have to do what we have to do. And if too many shires are given reprieves (ahem, Geelong) well then no one is going to listen, and they won’t be happy, right?

I’ll suck it up.

Baby girl took my cue from the other night, and had stuck this note on our bedroom door last night:

I mean, we couldn’t say no to a 6 year-old, right?

Everyone was out and having their last lunches, last drinks, last cuppas…

They were all still social distancing. Counting numbers inside and outside the cafe. Sanitiser was within reach. It was very much across the board.

And the coffee was GREAT. But, it all felt a bit surreal. I mean, you could tell people were getting in their last whatever’s before midnight tonight. I could hear the cafe owner telling loyal customers they would be open for takeaway every day.

We enjoyed it. And then we left. Walked down the main street…

And to the PARK.

Poor baby girl. Poor all kids. They have to go through this shitty time again. Look I get it, we have to do this. Baby girl is actually amazing and totally understanding of what we have to sacrifice again.

But, I wanted to let her run. I wanted her to play.

And she did.

I’ll see you all on the other side… but stay for the gratitude journey, of course, as always. 🙂

#1600 Day 102 of getting there: the healthy potato bake

Our dinner, night by night, is fairly predictable.

Fairly standard.

Fairly simple.

Meat. Salad. A carb. And loads of steamed vegies.

The meat changes, sure… Hubbie IS a butcher after all.

The vegies kind of stay the same.

So does the salad.

I try to be creative with the carb though.

Spicy rice. Yellow rice. Plain rice! (Hubbie loves rice!)

Potato chips (home-baked potato chips are so yum). Pasta!

And let’s not forget our good friend pasta.

I do soups too, especially in Winter. Chicken and sweet corn soup, basic traditional soup, cauliflower soup, pumpkin soup, and my latest LOVE, chicken and egg drop soup.

Drooool.

ALL the carbs are so moorish, and I would actually overdose if it weren’t for my sensitive-stomached Hubbie.

He eats well, and he eats healthy. But unlike me, the slightest overdose of fats/cheese/cream/oil…

And he is physically and emotionally paying for it the next day.

I’m all like “How? Why?”

I’ve come to realise though that our bodies are very different, and even though my body doesn’t really tell me, his body throws out obvious hints left, right and centre.

It’s the whole reason I stopped making one of our carb staples, the potato bake.

This potato bake was DELISH. Thinly-sliced potatoes, onions, cheese, LOADS of cheese, with a sprinkle of pepper and paprika, and then the whole lot was covered in half a tub of cream and lots of milk.

Can you just hear the cows singing out to you? 🙂 😉

Well, like I said, I stopped it. Both because Hubbie didn’t like to eat much of it at all, and then… I got MORE food conscious.

I say more, because I’ve grown up with my own share of food awareness. I know a lot.

But recently I’ve come to learn more.

I’ve been on a bit of a journey myself. I’m not off dairy, but I have reduced it greatly. I have things like almond milk and coconut yoghurt as part of my intake, alongside regular milk. I have my daily coffee and tea, but I try to have treats that I’ve baked myself. Things from programs by Sam Wood and Rachael Finch. The sugar I was so reliant on to accompany my caffeine kick, I’ve realised I don’t need.

Instead I have things that contain maple syrup for sweetener, dried fruit, nuts and healthy fats, and these are the things I am increasingly calling my ‘treats.’

You know, I’m actually enjoying them too.

But there’s been something I’ve been pondering for a while. I’ve been sitting on this idea, thinking thinking thinking, and today I finally went ahead and looked up…

“Potato bake with chicken stock.”

Simple right? I could remove the cream, the milk, even 3/4s of the cheese, and replace it with…

Stock. Spices. Herbs. Which is exactly what I did.

I sliced the potatoes up as normal and sprinkled some salt, pepper and herbs in between layers, including some crushed garlic, poured the stock over the whole lot, and voila!

A healthy potato bake!

I even tossed some parmesan on top (just a little!) in the last 10 minutes of baking.

It was really yum! I didn’t miss anything AT ALL. I perhaps overdosed a little on the garlic, but all in all, I think I’ve just reintroduced the potato bake bake into the ‘rotation,’ as Hubbie would say.

Still delish, but only healthier. 🙂

I love a good cheat.

#1599 Day 101 of getting there: The Winter beach walk

We didn’t have to go far to feel like we were on holiday today.

Just as well. With all the fear and frustration so rampant around Victoria lately, we don’t really want to be going anywhere.

How far did we go? Well, just down the road.

It was amazing to be able to head to our local beach, the beach we frequent so much over Summer. I’ve been feeling particularly ‘locked’ lately, like I’ve lost my freedom, and all those little things we take for granted as always being there…

And we aren’t even in a lockdown suburb.

But today, it was Winter. Sunny yes, but so windy too. We walked amongst trees, on a short track that led to a major beach lookout.

I expected it to be freezing there… actually it was not so bad. The air had warmth, and the view was just spectacular…. it took our minds off Winter, if only for a bit.

#1595 Day 97 of getting there: to have like-minded souls

It was wonderful that we got to see some of our dearest friends tonight.

Via Zoom, of course. 😉

We had a great chat with bestie and her hubbie via our computers. I tell you, technology is a Godsend at this phase of our lives.

You can’t be with loved ones, but by seeing them live, hearing their voices, and watching their mannerisms, in their lounge rooms, (with their pets!)… it’s the next best thing to being there with them.

After the video call was over Hubbie and I spoke about how wonderful it’d been to catch up with familiar faces, and people that we cared for. And I don’t know how it came into my mind, but I said to Hubbie “you don’t have to have the same interests. It’s not about that. It’s about finding like-minded people.”

Because we don’t all have to like the same things. Do the same things. Go to the same places. Eat the same food, or sleep the same way.

It’s about how our minds work. And you seek out people who are reflective of your morals, attitudes, and generally your way of life.

I don’t need everyone in my life to love writing. I don’t even need them to love reading. I don’t need them to love cats, yoga, the fact that I can’t stop listening to Queen at the moment…

I just need them to get me, and I want to get them.

It was a really lovely thing to contemplate, after a video call with friends who get us… as we get them.

#1591 Day 93 of getting there: HER gratitude journal

I picked up baby girl from school today, and she started telling me the most amazing thing.

“I was drawing in my gratitude journal!”

WHAT?

She went on to tell me that they’d all been given journals that day to record, by writing or by pictures, things that they were grateful for.

She drew. No surprise there.

The picture? A grassy field, a sun in the sky… and the three of us.

Baby girl, Hubbie and me.

Playing together.

She didn’t get to finish the picture. But she intended for there to be a rainbow, some wind, rain and clouds in the sky, alongside the sun.

Some may think that is silly. I for one think that is highly realistic.

For you can’t actually get your rainbow, without going through some wind and rain first.

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

#1589 Day 91 of getting there: Let’s reset on this short day

I don’t know what was going on today.

Was it Winter?

Was it the moon?

The sun?

The eclipse?

Or something more powerful… HORMONES?

Something freaky was going on. I was unhinged. Emotional. A wreck. So much to do, and yet complete unwillingness to do anything at all.

Was someone sticking needles into a mini-me? Was it Karma? Some huge Universal lesson I was being taught?

Was it just the fact I am sick of this super long, super strong, superman-type cold I’ve had for the past 3 months?

Is iso finally making me crack, true and proper?

It’s one of those things, that I just don’t know. I may never know.

But there is ONE THING I KNOW for certain.

Today is the shortest day. June 21st.

It is the day of the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere.

And also, the anniversary of our engagement sooo many years ago.

As soon as I discovered in 2016, that the winter solstice fell on our engagement anniversary, I was intrigued.

Firstly, I knew it was not a coincidence, because I don’t believe in those.

A day marking the end of the old, and the rebirth of great beginnings and hope, to fall on our engagement day… it was NOT a coincidence.

I am compelled to write and remind people about it every year, and I feel like my winter solstice journey in life is only just beginning.

The day that the southern hemisphere is tilted furthest away from the sun, hence getting the least amount of sunshine, is the day that we call this, the shortest day.

At a time of the greatest darkness, it can be understood then that symbolically it is a time of rebirth, rejuvenation and self-reflection.

Through darkness, comes light. Through trying times, springs hope.

And even though there is a lag between the shortest day, and us experiencing the coldest winter days yet, because of our hemisphere here still cooling (yep, get ready folks) we can start to set intentions and make space for what we want in our lives, for this next chapter.

For this next chapter, of slowly, oh so slowly, increasing LIGHT.

Which brings me back to the beginning. Today was crappy. Many of you may be having shitty days like me. Shitty weeks. Hell it’s been months for me (and yet for some more of you, years).

Coronavirus has not helped.

But let’s be kind to ourselves. Let’s try. Try to accept this difficult time for what it is. And that is, a massive growing and learning experience.

The rebirth is here. Things are going to get better, they have to.

Winter is going to kick us hard, sure, but honestly, look how bad this year has been already.

Just look. And we’re still here.

BLOODY SURVIVING.

We can do it.

Photo by luizclas on Pexels.com

#1588 Day 90 of getting there: Winter weeding

We have so many weeds.

You would have thought being isolated we’d have all the time in the world to maintain the garden.

But we haven’t. We’ve chosen to do other things, things that fill our soul, things that let us go slow, activities that, well, are warmer.

Because outside, it’s been cold.

But today… it was really, really nice.

I had to get outside. And put on my new gloves!

I was happy. Baby girl was happy. Even Mister F was happy, rolling around in front of me and trying to distract me by laying across the weeds I was trying to remove… ahh, cats.

From close-up it felt like I was getting nowhere at all. But when I stepped back and surveyed my work after an hour, I realised I really had achieved a lot.

That’s some perspective we should all remember.

#1585 Day 87 of getting there: the proper morning coffee

After standing on the Main street for a few minutes today, just looking around, going “where should we go?”

“Where should we go?”

“Where should we go?”

…I had to laugh to myself. We had so many options we actually didn’t know where to go.

I loved it.

Well we ended up in one place, where we hadn’t been to in ages… partly because of COVID. And as we took a seat by the window looking out onto the street – after writing down our names and numbers of course per the new protocol – we noticed that the cafe was a little quieter, there were crosses on the floor to advise where to stand and the place had had a recent fresh coat of paint amidst recent close downs…

But one thing, was the same.

No, BETTER.

The coffee was ah-may-zing!

And oh yeah, the almond croissant was pretty darn good too.

It was the kind of smooth but strong coffee that had me talking fast for the next few hours… and beyond.

#1584 Day 86 of getting there: the BOLD book

15 years ago when Hubbie bought me a 20 years of The Bold and the Beautiful book, little did he know that many years later I would actually seriously be using it as an encyclopaedic timeline of all things soapy.

I have actually caught up. I may have mentioned a number of times that I was seriously behind on my B&B watching. So much so that my Foxtel planner had during one very long period, NO JOKES, over 100 unwatched Bold eps.

Not even exaggerating.

But you know what has happened during this iso?

Guess what has happened… 🙂

I’ve caught up.

I’ve caught up on the recent eps anyway. And what I mean by that is, I’m across the board on the most recent eps that have aired around the world, and as of today, I started to watch what else they’ve been feeding us while we wait for more eps…

The old eps.

Because they aren’t filming anymore, you know? Just during iso. And it’s not just me, but Australia has caught up with the US!

So if you haven’t worked it out by now, I am a fairly MASSIVE Bold fan.

Taylor-Ridge shipper, Steffy-Liam shipper, ALL THE WAY.

Today I watched the first old ep. Eric and Brooke’s wedding… from who knows when.

Ages ago.

It was OLD.

It was cheesy.

But it was fascinating!

I just kept going “oh they’re so young! Their voices! Their hair! So youthful! So wrinkle free!”

But I had more pressing questions to the storyline, and less superficial ones too.

Why was Stephanie at the wedding of her ex-husband?

Why was Taylor engaged to Brooke’s brother?

Had Ridge been involved with Taylor yet?

Why were Brooke and Ridge making googly eyes at each other when she was marrying his Dad?

You know, the usual.

So after I watched the ep and listened to that original fantastic 80s theme music, I went to the bookcase.

I honestly have never read this thing properly. Not like a sit down and read. I’ve flipped through it, and I loved that Hubbie had gotten it for me when we were dating, knowing how much of a die-hard fan I was (he has a hilarious bold story from back when we first started talking on the phone!)

And it was the kind of book that you could leave on a coffee table and just flip through casually at whim, nothing too philosophical to take up your mind’s attention, or too technical that it required focused concentration.

But I hadn’t even really flipped through it.

But tonight I did. Not just flipped… I read. And read and read. And found out some fascinating stuff. Filled in many blanks.

And realised I will forever more always be team Taylor-Ridge.

And I also realised how many years I have spent following these people.

And I also also realised, I am a bit crazy about it all. 😜

Oh well. You learn something new every day don’t you?

I now need to catch up on these old, classic eps… i might have something like 30, 40?

No rush. I’ll take my time going back in time, with these.