#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.

#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.

#1440 Our matching mannerisms

It was a family kind of day.

I was on the other side of town with baby girl, meeting sis there too as we caught up with our parents.

And while the family time, café lunch, backyard musings and loads of watermelon and pineapple were wonderful, there was one moment that stood out to me.

Mmmm. “Yeah Yeah.”

Sis and I have the same mannerisms when we talk. We know this. People have pointed it out to us. And once again the mannerisms reared their funny head and we were in stitches this afternoon.

Sis is too kind. She said after we realised what was happening that we had the same expressions…

We DO, but I don’t know whether it is in-built in our family sister gene, or whether it is her huge influence on me growing up that influenced me to take on things that she said and did, without even realising.

I really do believe that to be the case. She was such a massive role model for me growing up, and not to say that she isn’t anymore, it’s just that looking up to someone as a child and then an impressionable teenager, makes a long-lasting impact.

Even down to the smallest most sub-conscious level… even the “mmm’s.”

I was completely oblivious to the symmetry playing out today. Mum was saying something to us around the old circular kitchen table, and I reached for my phone to glance at it, going “yeah yeah” in response without even thinking.

Soon sis was telling me that we did the ‘yeah yeah’s’ to Mum at exactly the same time, and we burst into fits of laughter.

I held my hand over my mouth, because I knew what would happen next.

It’s happened so many times before. We’ll realise we’re making the same “mmm” sounds or doing that “yeah” followed by a big sigh thing that we do, laugh insanely about it, and then as we finish laughing go “ahhh” at the same time followed by a sigh AT THE SAME TIME, and start laughing all over again.

I swear I felt the “mmm” and sighs and “yeah’s” building up as my hand held my mouth closed, just knowing we would do it again, letting sis laugh and do them on her own.

🤦‍♀️

Gee we are hilarious.

Whether I’ve learned it from her, or it’s some innate freaky sister similarity, when we do our little sighs and “yeah’s,” I’m glad to be sharing such a little, but so telling expression, with her.

It’s all in the details. 😉

Yeah.

#1437 Melbourne Monopoly

I was so excited to come home with the tattered and old board game.

It came from the depths of my parents’ garage, and the game in question was Monopoly.

I had played it oh so many times in my childhood, and I planned to again… with my family, introducing it to a newbie in baby girl.

But then today while clearing out a cupboard, I came across MORE board games, and realised…

I had a newer version – Melbourne Monopoly.

Years ago for Christmas I had gotten it from Hubbie when the special city edition was released. I was so excited then…

But never played it! Never even tried to look at it…

‘Til tonight!

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Monopoly was on the cards alright. We didn’t play until someone was bankrupt (baby steps for baby girl) pulling the pin early because hey, the game takes sooo long anyway… but we already had our first little hissy fit.

Baby girl didn’t want to pack the cards away, wanting to keep the pink strip of cards… Because PINK.

The strip in question? It includes iconic spots like the Chapel Street precinct and the Emporium in Melbourne.

Of course. It had to be shopping related.

#1433 Home-grown cherry tomatoes

As if I couldn’t find yet another reason why I love going to my parents’ house time and time again.

Their backyard is the place to be. No matter what the season, it is a beautiful green abode of relaxation, escape, shade, dreaming, and also…

Food source.

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They have this vine of cherry tomatoes just casually scaling up one side of the fence. Before I knew what was happening my Mum was gathering bunch after bunch for me, and I was like “WOAH!”

They look delish!

Can’t wait to pop them onto one of my home-made pizzas with some super fresh mozzarella… DROOL.

#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.

 

#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. 😉

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

She, and we, are fortunate to have double the Christmases, every year. ♥

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash