#1483 New and old memories with best friends

It’s always a great time when you catch up with loved ones, but it felt extra awesome tonight when bestie and her hubbex came over.

It really has been too long. It made everything all the more sweeter… the conversation, the music youtube shares, the d&ms, and all the pet talk about those furry friends of ours that we love.

Baby girl decided she had new ‘owners.’ LOL. I feel safe and secure when she selects people who are dear to me, to add to her special list too.

But perhaps the funniest and weirdest moment came when bestie remembered something from our childhood years… I’m still trying to come to terms with it and remember it, but the visual she gave me is stirring some deep memory from within, and maybe, just maybe, I CAN remember.

What I had forgotten, for apparently my whole life, is that when we were in primary school, WE HAD OUR OWN BOOK CLUB.

Oh-em-gee.

We would take our books and sit in the inside of this massive playground tyre, six of us, and share what we had read. We had diaries too that we would write in after.

!!!

I was freaking out over this fact. Firstly, I would love to now be in a book club, but sadly don’t think it’s the right time for it, for where I am in my life… but I used to be in one… when I was about 9?

I would bring with me, wait for it…my The Babysitters Club books. I was spinning out even more, because that is SO me. Was so me.

I loved the recollection, because it told me that even though there are things we can’t remember, there are others who have memories of things that we have forgotten.

Also, the knowledge that I was doing such book-related stuff before I even remember wanting to write seriously for a living… double wow. Some things are just meant to be.

And thirdly… well friends. Having this lifetime of knowledge between old friends, with experiences that are constantly gained, and memory upon memory added… well, it is something special. Truly special.

โ™ฅ

#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.ย 

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.

#1422 ‘Twas the ‘second’ night before Christmas…

What? She must have her dates wrong you say.

No siree.

It really is the night before Christmas… for those of Orthodox faith.

It’s an interesting thing to celebrate two Christmases throughout your life. It’s a privilege now awarded to baby girl as she joins in the doubled up of festivities.

Growing up, although the primary Christmas we celebrated was on the traditional Westernised date of December 25th, due to my Mum’s background and heritage we were always aware of at the very least, if we weren’t helping our relatives celebrate the Orthodox Christmas day of January 7th.

Seeing as Hubbie’s family is also of Orthodox faith, this acknowledgement and acceptance has grown and continued. All of my life, family and friends around me have celebrated this day… I have been to countless Christmas parties and participated in token Orthodox traditions, drank and ate and been merry on this holiest of days.

Which nationalities celebrate this day you might ask? Well there are Macedonians, Serbians, Polish, Russian, and Greek, to name a few…

I think it’s important to respect and value other traditions, even those that we may not be privy to or understand in the fullest.

Just as living in Australia, I believe that Australian customs should be respected and appreciated by all those who choose to call this country their home, so too do I believe the reverse should be norm: Aussies should respect the traditions and heritage of those with customs and holidays from far off our shores.

Including a different Christmas.

Sometimes I hear a bit of ignorance. One side might discount the other, calling theirs the ‘real Christmas.’

I think this is a bit sad. I don’t think we should be arguing over religion and politics and trying to up our own stance by discounting the other.

Why can’t we all respect each other’s traditions while still enjoying our own?

THIS GOES BOTH WAYS.

Baby girl went to bed tonight excited. She was asking if Santa would come again… I told her he only makes one stop a year, but that there would still be PRESENTS.

We did the majority of presents on the Westernised Christmas day, but I have an inkling she will get something. ๐Ÿ˜‰

A second Christmas for a kid? That’s like a second birthday!

She, and we, are fortunate to have double the Christmases, every year. โ™ฅ

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

 

#1374 Us 4, like old times

Today we found ourselves in a place, a space, a set up, that we haven’t been in for a while… and yet it was something that we used to live and breathe.

And eat. As it was concerning the old kitchen table.

Not my kitchen table… but my parents’ old kitchen table.

It was me, my sister, and my parents. And we sat down to eat in exactly the same spots we used to all those years ago.

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๐Ÿ˜ฏ

Wow. This is a big deal. We go to my parents’ house a fair bit, and even sis and I will find ourselves there at the same time too… but it will usually be with the rest of the fam. Hubbies. Kids. And we never sit at the small round table when there are 9 of us.

But today, only 4. The original clan;) I had to take a snapshot of the moment.

It wasn’t the only flashback in time though… When we were headed out later, sis and I in the back seat of Mum’s car as she drove, Dad in passenger… she stepped on the gas, HARD, as she reversed flew down their long narrow drive.

Sis and I turned to each other with looks of surprise on our faces before I burst out laughing.

Oh Mum. How could I forget your insane driving?

Memories. โค๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ง

๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿš˜

 

#1346 Cuddling Mister F

This is my cat, Mister F.

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Baby girl will argue that he is her cat and he loves her more, but lets face it, if it weren’t for me being a cat person…

We wouldn’t even have a cat right now.

In the picture above, Mister F is being Tarzan, balancing the fence and weaving between the giant leaves of our neighbours fig tree.

He is hilariously clumsy. Moments before I snapped this photo he almost slipped off the fence – like, you are a cat. If you can’t balance on a fence, no one can!

I love his awkwardness. Amazingly what I am loving about him lately is his coat… rather, the cuddly coat.

Hubbie calls it his leather jacket. So black and shiny and smooth. He’s a medium hair so a fair bit of fur still finds its way wafting through our home… which I can’t stand, since I’m the one that cleans it.

But he’s sooo soft. Like today when he wandered into a room he wasn’t meant to go into, I scooped him up flat like a pancake (the way I used to do with my old cat) and hugged him against my chest as I carried him downstairs.

And Mister F? He was totally cool about being a pancake. He looked around curiously as I held him close to me in a hug, and didn’t try to escape even once.ย 

He lets us get away with almost anything… don’t feel sorry for him though… He has a butcher as an owner.

Sardines for dinner? His favourite โค๐Ÿ˜ป

#1339 Why I love to garden

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I asked myself this very question this afternoon, as I sat crouched over our flower bed, pulling out weeds at random and picking at those pesky sort that just wouldn’t come out so easily…

Why did I love it?

I certainly never had any real affinity to it growing up. Sure my parents backyard was a beautiful haven to relax, think, have d&ms and read… but it never went further than that.

The maintenance of it all was beyond me. Unthinkable. Not because I despised it… rather because I never truly considered it.

Until we got our own home. This home to be honest. In our old place we made the front and rear gardens to be as lowmaintenance as possible. A couple of yakkas here, a palm tree and a shrub there, throw in a whole lot of pebbles to thwart weed growth… TA-DA!

Done.

Maybe it’s because we are at a place where we see ourselves growing and building our ideal house and lifestyle. Maybe I’m finally at an age where I can appreciate and have a bit more time for these outdoor leisurely practices.

Maybe I am more like my parents than I ever imagined.

OR… maybe it is that all of my indoor work, sitting at my computer both writing and writhing, needs to be balanced somehow, somewhat, and that can only be done outside tending to nature…

Yep. Even the weeds.

I find it so therapeutic, ripping them out. Honestly, sometimes I question if I have gone mad.

But I think where I have really gone, is to Nature.ย 

#1260 Sipak tea

I had a lovely moment tonight while sipping some herbal tea…

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Sipak tea, that is.

“What the hell is sipak?” you may ask.

Well firstly, it’s pronounced with a ‘sh,’ so” shi-pak” instead of “si-pak.”

And the ‘pak’ is not at all like “pack,” instead like “puck.”

So it is shi-puck.

It’s a rosehip tea. As much as I rely on coffee daily and enjoy it to no end, I am also a firm tea lover. They both have their place, rightly so. I love having a million and one teas in my pantry, regardless of whether I drink them daily, weekly, monthly, or even, yearly.

So when I finished my old sipak tea packet several months ago, I realised with dismay that the local supermarkets just couldn’t cut it.

They had all these non-European brands of ‘rosehip’ tea (eye roll)… and I just wanted to go back to my roots.

My Croatian roots. I wanted to get the bloody Croatian tea with the Cro writing and branding and only drink that one damn it.

SIPAK TEA.

I asked my Mum not long ago to get me some from her local supermarket, as they have a wide and varied selection of European specialty foods…

Today when we visited my parents, 3 packets were waiting for me. 3!

I took out my mug tonight and made myself a cuppa. It’s still rosehip but with added hibiscus flower. I tell you, I never noticed the hibiscus before, either it is new or it was never made prominent on the old packets, but it still tasted the SAME.

And it was only while sipping it that I realised the mug, cherished as it was, had come from my Mum, too.

My Mum giving me a great Mum mug. And now, traditional caj.

Talk about full circle… or should I say, puni krug. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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