#1430 Home made pizza

I’m trying to set a good example for baby girl whenever I can.

A massive part of that example is teaching her what I learnt growing up…

Home made is best.

She already tells me that my gingerbread and banana bread is better than any bought variety, and just recently even said she loved my pasta sauce… and she doesn’t even eat that much of it.

What I bake and make doesn’t have to receive world-class awards. If baby girl can see that what I made in our kitchen tastes better than anything commercially bought or packaged, my job here is done.

Learning this is a life-long task though. I still fall into traps of buying things that I think might be okay, but then I end up terribly disappointed afterwards. That’s why I’m always teaching, always talking to baby girl about what is good and healthy for her.

I don’t like to be preachy, or all “Don’t eat that!” with her. Rather like today at the shops, I asked her if she wanted me to buy some watermelon, and she said yes. I then threw in the info that they have lots of water and are naturally sweet, and much better for you than sugary treats and chocolate.

😉

But it wasn’t just watermelon on our shopping list today. We were buying pizza-making ingredients, because baby girl asked for us to make a pizza!

Before I get too excited over my good influence on her, it was TOTALLY NOT MY INFLUENCE.

I know because she told me… she had watched her favourite doll role-play channel on youtube and the dolls had made their own pizza with green peppers and brown onion and pepperoni and that’s why she wanted to make it!

Well what do you know? Youtube is actually teaching something.

So we went on a shopping trip. To buy green peppers (I told them in Australia we say capsicums), pepperoni (only to go on Hubbie’s side of the pizza once she realised they were spicy) and some other delicious and fresh toppings like ham, mushrooms and fresh mozzarella.

FRESH MOZARELLA! Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

At home I chopped it up and she helped me top the pizza base… the best bit.

Before…

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And after

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It smelt so good coming out of the oven, and we had created it ourselves!

The only modification for next time…

Make two. We smashed that ‘one’ easily.

 

#1317 Deep reflections at a funeral

A sombre post today. Still with some gratitude, but definitely, sombre.

I was at a funeral today. It’s that event on the other side of the spectrum that makes you think. The event on the opposite side? A birth. Something so wondrous and magical that it feels as if all of life’s blessings have fallen upon your lap.

But death. That which is inevitable but which we don’t speak of.

Although both birth and death make us reflect and think about life, nothing quite shakes our core and makes us think about how far we have come, like the end of someone’s days.

IT IS INEVITABLE. Yet we don’t think about it, we don’t talk about it. I stood there in the church today, staring at the great bright and glowing chandelier above our heads, underneath where I married Hubbie, and where years later we christened our baby girl… thinking deeply.

How would my funeral be? Where would I be? Would I want to be remembered there, in an Orthodox church, a place of many beautiful memories for me personally, or in a church that spoke of my Catholic roots?

The answer came to me easily and abruptly. Despite my deep respect for my husband and his traditions, I wanted to go back to where I came from.

I shared this with Hubbie in the car, on the way to the cemetery. He nodded.

“Fair enough.” But that wasn’t enough for me. I continued.

“Have you ever thought who will be at your funeral? Like, it’s going to be those younger than us, most likely.” I started rattling off names of those near and dear who were a generation younger than us. I got choked up thinking of others.

“What about my friends?” Who of them would be at mine… or would I be at theirs? It was too much to bear. Suddenly the tears were welling up in my eyes and rolling down my cheeks. “How will it be? Who will be there to remember me?”

Hubbie reached out his hand to hold mine. “Don’t talk like that.” If anyone had thought of death, and of how grief took hold of your body, it was Hubbie. “Don’t think about it.”

And that’s what we do, don’t we? We go back to not thinking about it… not talking about it.

But like I said, death makes us think. And so it should. It makes us take stock of things, do a life inventory as it were, to see what makes us happy, if we are using our time wisely, and who we are spending that hard-earned time on… all sage questions, and things we should consider more often.

It made me think of those around me. Was I surrounding myself with the best people possible? Those who had my best interests at heart and made me happy? Would I be happy, at who turned up at my funeral?

So today I used this time to think. To contemplate and reassess what is around me. Put things in perspective. To remember to stress less, and LIVE MORE.

Because I have time. If you are reading this, YOU have time too. Take the event of death of a loved one as a most humble and sobering reminder to wake up to the signs of life and make sure you are on the right track… every day is a chance to start anew… every day is a chance to make your days count… and every day is a chance to make your life worthy and satisfying.

Make your relationships with your loved ones count. Surround yourself with the best people possible. Not just because they might be at your funeral… but because they should already be in your life, too.

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Photo by Simeon Muller on Unsplash

 

#1279 Birthday version 36.0

Snapshots of my day…

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Putting a unicorn bikkie in baby girl’s lunchbox today … her birthday too.

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My café brekkie. The quiet start to the day was necessary and did not last!

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There were blue skies… blue skies!

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Google wished me a happy birthday, again… aww shucks.

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And flowers at the end of the day from Hubbie to me and our girl made me all googly-eyed ♥

My birthday observation this year is this: it’s better, especially if having a party, to have your actual birthday mid-week, like Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday. Because if like me you have it on a Friday, you then spend the whole day running around like crazy getting ready for it all, on your birthday! There is no rest!

We were all crazy crazy running around the house tonight… Mister F was looking at us like “damn I live with insane people.”

But as long as I have my family to be crazy with, life is good.

Life is beautiful 🙂

 

 

#1252 Sawing away at negativity

Today I took out the saw. Both in the literal and metaphorical sense.

The first time it was intentional. I literally went to the garage, got out Hubbie’s saw, and took to the task of pruning old branches from my rose bushes with focus and determination. I knew what I had to do. I had been planning to do it for months. I took joy in the process.

Sawing. Cleansing. Removing the old to make way for the new. A new stage was emerging. Soon the dry leafless branches would be filled with green foliage and ravishing ruby red roses. 🌹

Tonight… again the same.

But instead I took out the saw… metaphorically.

This one wasn’t planned.

I didn’t go into it with purpose. It was something I had been kind of putting off.

But yet like the rose bushes, it was something that needed to happen.

I paused. Hesitated. Sure I knew what HAD to be done… I had known for years. I didn’t accept it though. Recently, this year I knew I had to take out the largest tool in my figurative shed, and rid myself of the negativity, the anger, the frustrations and deep-seeded hurts that had planted and manifested themselves in my body.

You would think letting go of such harmful things would be easy, favoured, wanted even… but often we hold onto our hurts, because they are so familiar. They are all we know. Sure moving on is most beneficial, but it requires starting again… and then there is forgiveness.

The thing that has struck me most about forgiveness is this: you don’t forgive for those that have hurt you… you forgive to lighten your heart, soul, mind and body, and give yourself the freedom to live your life unweighted by unnecessary hurts.

I always knew this… do you think it was easy to implement, in spite of the sadness?

No. This glass half-full gratitude girl has been struggling for YEARS.

But tonight, a change. I took little steps… and maybe the fruits of my labour won’t show themselves for a little while… they won’t sprout green leaves and red roses like my cherished flowers as soon… but there is sign of life.

Seedlings have been planted, and my saw has taken to the old ways with understanding and gentleness.

Yes, you can be gentle with a saw.

Really, there is to be no more.

Remember… do it for yourself. You are the one that matters. The saw is in your hands.

 

 

#1245 A reason for the ddrraaaagggggg

This end-of-work transition is taking FFOOORRREEEEVVVVEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRR.

I ttthhiinnkk I nneeeeddddd ttttooooo ssstttaaarrrrtttt wwwrrriiittiiinngg lliikkee tthhiiss ttoo ffullllyyyyyy eexxppllaaiiinnn ttttooo yyyooouuu jjuusssstttt hhhhoooowwww mmuuucccchhh oofff aaaaa dddrrrrraaaaggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg iitttt fffeeeellllsss lliiikkkkeeee.

Is that annoying? Frustrating maybe?

My sentiments EXACTLY.

You know I stopped collecting coffee cards from my Saturday café a good 2 months ago. I did it because I was sure (ha!) that we would be finishing about June ‘time,’ as initially indicated… that is of course, after the first few dates were ‘indicated,’ and then delayed, to the June date.

It is now July.

🤨

If I had kept collecting cards and stamps for my Saturday work shifts, I would have gotten a free coffee by now.

I tell myself, there must be a reason for this. This long, dddrrraaaawwwwnnnnn out process.

So often in life we look back at an event that made NO SENSE WHATSOEVER at the time, and yet in retrospect we gain an enormous amount of clarity, insight, growth, and a bigger look at how all the little and intricate (and sometimes annoying) pieces have fit together perfectly.

I am still at that stage where I am gathering the outer edges of my 10,000 piece puzzle, and in the middle is just this whole smudge of red colour and I have no idea out of the hundreds of the same pieces, where to start.

Something like that. 😏

But, there is an end… or is there?

Mid-August now they say.

Let’s see what happens.

This morning I exited the café with my new coffee loyalty card in wallet, now stamped for one. The warmth of the cup in my hand was little consolation for the cold that abruptly smacked my face as I exited the protection of the shop. Like little pebbles of ice pelting upon my face, nose, exposed hands, the lower parts of my ears peeking out from under my beanie…

A bit longer. Keep on going.

There is a reason, isn’t it? The reason isn’t just delayed relief and release, right?

For now I can just say…

‘Onwards.’ 😉

From 4 weeks away, to maybe indefinitely.

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#1172 Letting go – part two

I’ll tell you a story… or two. I seem to be telling many of late. But this one is about my miraculous observation in the art of letting go… and how when you actually LET GO, and free yourself of expectations and what you believe should be, or should happen… well the right thing presents itself to you.

#1.

The day when we went to the animal shelter to meet our soon-to-be, yet not known at the time, cat…

We were let into the big human-sized cage to watch him. Be with him. The worker placed him into my arms and I held him for a bit before he jumped onto a nearby scratcher and climbed all the way to the top, so he could be at our height.

He looked around, pupils growing wide, curious, observant. A shiny black coat, white socks, white whiskers. We immediately loved him.

But someone else was going to see him FIRST. We were told that since someone had already called and queried about him, they had first preference. We nodded, patting this black and white cat, this cat that was oblivious to the owner wars happening around him.

We smiled and laughed. We patted him some more. We left the large cage and I started to fill in the application for the sake of crossing all t’s and dotting all i’s, but you know what I was thinking? Hubbie’s thoughts mirrored my own though we didn’t express them ’til later…

There’s nothing wrong with this cat. Surely the people will get him. He’s great. He’s gorgeous. He’s entertaining. We are too late.

Just the fact of knowing someone else wanted him, that was reason enough for these people to get this cat. It is part of the human condition, after all, to want even MORE what someone else wants.

I finished filling in the form as Hubbie and baby girl went across the room to look at other cats in cages. I felt a bit sad thinking it wasn’t likely we would see him again, and yet I still felt this happiness, this positivity… and knowing all that I did, smiling at him through the cage, I placed my finger through a hole to pat his neck and I whispered

“See you later.”

With a wide smile. I knew there were people first in line before us. I knew he was practically perfect. I knew all of this, and still I put those words out there with hope and happiness in my heart, but most importantly I –

LET GO.

And of course, the next day the shelter called me to say…

The cat was ours, if we wished. The other people?

They never even showed up.

Such a small moment, but it held so much weight. I have been replaying my state of being, my feelings, just my general mood as I whispered those words to him that Sunday. I have been thinking it over again and again, trying to bottle up the exact feeling, the exact feeling that led us to what we wanted.

And in going over it again and again, it happened… AGAIN.

#2.

My work is giving us all training allowances in our redundancies. I’m doing an online writing course at the moment… and two weeks ago I wrote in to apply for another one (as I still had funds I could use).

But last week, I got nervous. My new course started this week, I hadn’t heard back, and yet I had failed to mention to the relevant people that the course started like, NOW… so I sent a little reminder. A little “sorry, but just wanted to mention…” type email.

I came into work today and still… nothing. 

I fluctuated. First I was angry. How could she not approve me that course? There were no grounds not to? Was she busy? She had replied to another non-related email of mine within seconds of me sending, why wasn’t she doing anything about this? 

Then I went the other way. Maybe I should take this as a sign. Maybe I am pushing too much. Maybe it is not meant to be, now.

But no! I argued in my head. I had a whole plan. A whole plan as to how I was going to progress with my courses… I soon realised I was becoming too controlling, too much trying-to-make-everything-my-way and not life’s way.

I hesitated. I paused. I still sent another reminder to say I had days left to apply within this week’s period, but I pondered the repercussions of not doing the course immediately.

Maybe I should do this course at another time… I would have to wait another 2 months or so, but maybe that time was better? I was feeling exceptionally busy and overwhelmed by a lot at the moment… maybe this was my blessing in disguise. Maybe, just maybe, there was something else better waiting for me.

By the end of the day, I had convinced myself it was better this way, and that there were advantages of not doing the course now.

I felt the benefits.

I felt the relief.

I had –

LET GO.

Guess what happened 20 minutes before the end of my work shift?

Email. Approving my course.

(Face palm).

Big, little, in-between or life-changing, I am seeing a theme. A theme whereby I have let go of an expectation, an ending I believe to be correct, and allowed the Universe to take over as I focus on other things… and then those things that I have wanted, have come into my life, so easily.

Effortlessly.

Magically.

And all I had to do is LET GO, and believe it. Which sounds easier than it is. It takes serious practice and repetition that all is good as it is. Like one of my fave Pulp Fiction quotes:

“Bitch be cool!”

Well that’s what I have been doing. I have been practicing, being cool. 

Letting go.

Releasing.

Surrendering.

Not controlling.

Just, allowing.

And in such simple terms, going with the flow.

And it is a miraculous place to go.

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Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash

 

 

#1169 Philosophy and the Drive Home

Another drive home from being out, and another philosophical D&M.

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Photo by Luigi Manga on Unsplash

The ingredients for this baked matter that seems to happen almost on a weekly basis now?

A dash of a day of drinking

A heavy sprinkle of a long drive home

And almost a necessity, 1 full cup of a sleeping baby girl in the back seat.

“Imagine Mister F.” Hubbie is giving me an example on his latest ‘thing.’

“Mister F is so scared when he hears our heavy footsteps around the house, or we close a door suddenly… imagine what he went through before coming to us to feel and act like that.”

He goes on. “Now imagine I hold that against him. I hold that weakness, that insecurity against him. I should be helping him! Reassuring him. It’s not his fault.”

I pause. “Yeah but Mister F is not attacking me is he? It’s a lot easier to help someone that is scared and isn’t out to get you… but take someone who is having a go at you, and how likely are you to want to help them out of love and care? How easy is it then?”

Clearly, we are not in Kansas anymore Toto, just as we clearly are not solely talking about our cat’s fear of our footsteps.

We are talking about something else entirely.

And in this scenario…. he is being the peacekeeper. The lover. The diffuser.

And meanwhile, I am being the fighter. Throwing Karma back in people’s faces. Going all “GRRR, ARGH!”

We are on polar opposites of this discussion.

As we drive, it literally feels like I am ripping my hair out. It drives me insane that we are on these opposite ends, and still, I understand where he is coming from, I see the peace inherent in adopting such an attitude…

I just can’t get there, myself, personally… YET.

Because I want to, just as much as I don’t want to, and this is where the battle lies. The battle with making people pay, making them hurt as much as they have hurt you… yeah sure, very ‘un-gratitude like’ for me, but some people just push my buttons, and unfortunately I can’t just press a special red button and expel them from the earth’s atmosphere. So yeah. That’s me in a really RAW nutshell.

But I listen to him. I imagine the scenarios. And though it shits me to no end, I still enjoy these talks. These debates. These to’s, and fro’s.

These talks that make us open our eyes, better ourselves, and want something more.

All when we are driving home in the car. Who said long drives were boring?

In an aside… what do YOU think?

Can you see yourself helping someone who has hindered you and hurt you? Who has failed to say sorry?

Can you move past that, forget it all, and treat them, well? With no recognition of the hurt that has passed?

Even if you feel the respect they owe to you, is all but gone?

Can you be the first to reach out and help them, when they were the first with the right-hand blow?

Could you???