#1519 Day 21 of getting there: a different Easter

Big days feel a whole lot different when you’re not with your usual circle.

Because today I realised, it’s your circle that makes your big days, BIG.

Without them, it just feels like any old day.

On this day of Easter 2020, we did our best to make things special in the absence of that circle.

Hot cross buns for brekkie.

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Easter egg hunt.

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A big lunch. We did what we could to make it less than ordinary.

But I won’t lie, it was hard. This is one of the first iso days where I really struggled. A day that’s spent with the love and laughter of our closest family – all of that was sorely missed.

But I know this won’t last. I know better days are coming. I know that days like this, so sweet and precious, simple and true, will make those big family days so much more appreciated.

3 and a half weeks down. At least 4 more weeks to go.

I miss my family so much. All you out there – stay home! I need to see my circle and I’d like to do it this season if possible, thanks.

#1512 Day 14 of getting there: Like a Virgin in 1985

It was Sunday night dinner, so that also meant it was everyone-picks-a-song-they-want-from-youtube night.

When it was my time I threw a super curveball at Hubbie, as it was nothing I had requested before… “Can you see if you can find Madonna, Dress You Up, live?”

He found the original clip for the song, which was from her Like A Virgin tour as I’d wanted… but it was the official video, and so the studio recording was used as the audio, NOT the live concert version.

And I KNEW the difference.

I knew, because back when I was 12 years old, there was a 3 month period where my parents succumbed to cable TV. It was meant to stay at $30 a month, so when it went up by a few bucks after that initial period, they ordered me to call up and cancel… typical parents. 😉

But in those 3 months, I purged on as much extra channels as I could. I watched heaps of Freddy Krueger sequels… tonnes of C-grade teen movies… and the best find of all, was Madonna’s 1985 Like A Virgin concert tour filmed in Detroit.

I inhaled this doco. I savoured it. I taped it, and watched it again and again and again. I knew most of the songs already, but then I learnt some of her lesser known hits like the rock-grungy Gambler, and super-catchy Over and Over. 

I learnt the dance moves. I picked up the bits where her concert version deviated from the album recordings. I knew every single phrase and word uttered in song and to the audience, every –

“That goes for you too Grandma!” at the start of Holiday.

Her emotional – “I gotta talk fast ’cause I might start crying,” when she addressed the audience.

“Do you wanna hear some more? I said, ‘do you wanna hear some more?'”

To her “I don’t need money I need love!” declaration during Material Girl.

Tonight, as I eventually found the original LIVE version on youtube, I realised I had found so much more.

Because I had found the complete concert.

!!!!

It was all there, the entire hour set.

I was rapt. :):):)

I sang and I danced. I gasped that I was still able to remember lines and conversations. I sang along as we finished dinner, I washed the dishes, and then I worked some more on our 1000 piece puzzle (yeah we were wrong when we thought it was only 500 or so… double that!)

It made me soooo happy. It took me back to my childhood. It took me back to a simpler time.

And oh, the 80s! What brilliant fun that was! Seeing the fashion, the hair, feeling the iconic music…

HOLIDAY!

I can’t believe it, I remembered it ALL.

“I went to New York, I had a dream.

I wanted to be a big star.

I didn’t know anybody.

I wanted to dance, I wanted to sing,

I wanted to do all those things,

I wanted to make people happy,

I wanted to be famous 

I wanted everybody to love me,

I wanted to be a star

I worked really hard

And my dream came true.”

BANG! That is her Like a Virgin concert opening monologue and that all came from my head! BOOM! Word for word it is imprinted in there.

And just because, 80s music can save us all, here is the opener…

 

#1491 Toilet paper

Never in my life did I ever think I would be so grateful for toilet paper.

I mean, even writing this gratitude blog, where I often talk about very simple, every day things that I’m appreciative for. Even toilet paper, that one item that we take for granted, that item that we literally wipe our asses on, and yet the one item that helps keep us so hygienic, allowing us to clean ourselves and flush it all away without a second thought.

Even that, very important necessity item. Considered a luxury in a lot of third world countries… yet something we have tonnes of in the Western world.

We have options. 1ply, 2ply, 3ply. Large commercial public toilet rolls… organic, bleached and non-bleached… recycled, patterned and coloured… even large packets that come with convenient handles that help us lug the monstrous packages to our car.

We have a lot of options.

We had a lot of options.

Now we are lucky to find the damn paper.

This coronavirus panic has materialised itself in Australia in the most bizarre way. And though my concerns about the actual virus itself have grown day by day, as I learn more about it, and as more travel and social bans are imposed upon the country in order to keep us safe from contracting it, it seems a lot of people are just panic buying, and as well as clearing the supermarket shelves from all long-life and tinned food, the main priority, for a virus that attacks the respiratory system, was how we were going to control our bums.

As simple as that. There is actually no logic to it.

Virus that attacks your lungs? Buy toilet paper.

I have no clue as to the link between the two.

This sheep mentality as I like to call it, has meant that people that haven’t been panic buying, are almost forced to, in order to protect themselves against the inevitability that there will be nothing left for them in the probability that we have to self-isolate.

I was down to 4 rolls. 4 rolls. 2 in use, and 2 that were sitting there, just waiting to be wasted.

My parents offered me rolls last week, but I was over-confident in my toilet paper buying abilities over the week… and then both Hubbie and I went all over town and still found NOTHING.

Fortunately for me, I have more than one person who cares about how much toilet paper we have in the household. Sis called the other day to tell me how Aldi seemed a better bet to get toilet paper from. Even though the major supermarkets are getting truck loads of it delivered every morning, it goes within hours.

And although the other 2 big chains sell out quickly, Sis seemed to think, going by her recent luck, that Aldi seemed like the better option… and then the knowledge that they opened at 8:30am (not having to get up at the start time of 6am like the other two chains) felt so much more achievable for me, and like I might actually get it.

So… this happened today.

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I got there before opening time, to a crowd of about 40 people waiting outside the closed doors. Everyone was fairly orderly yet had one very specific thing on their mind, and we all headed to the toilet paper aisle to get it.

24 rolls. 24! I am so bloody relieved after nearly shitting myself for a moment there (deliberate pun).

So, in case you too are freaking out as to where to get toilet paper from in Australia, and if 6am is awfully impossible too for you to get up for, try Aldi. The stores I checked out open at 8:30am every day. If you can pop in before work, school drop-off, or have someone grab it for you…

There you go. Good luck. That’s my community public service announcement.

We all need someone to look out for us. Let’s just pray that toilet paper is the biggest of our concerns.

#1484 A happy Sunday

A happy Sunday? How can the end of the weekend, where you have free time, catching up on stuff and doing what you like, sleeping in and going about life in a leisurely manner, how can a day that means the end of that, be good?

Ahh. If you have a public holiday the day after.

😉

We went into today pretty happy with ourselves and the days ahead. Not only did we have my cousin’s big birthday, but knowing we were all off from work/school tomorrow, made it all the more terrific.

A couple pit stops later at my parents’ place and then sis and bro-in-law’s was then definitely in order to prolong the weekend and really feel the long weekend holiday vibes.

😁❤😏

 

#1476 Together again

I don’t think I realised just how much I missed them all, until I saw them all today.

I’m talking about my family… my WHOLE family.

Cousins, aunties, uncles, kids, people who aren’t my blood technically but who I still faithfully call “cousin.”

And making it sweeter, having my parents, and sis and bro-in-law in the mix.

Age, gender, cultural ethnicity… it’s all irrelevant. We all blend and merge seamlessly into one. I talk to my younger cousins as easily as I do with my uncles, or the 3 year-old birthday girl.

We are all in such different stages of life, and it makes catch-ups like tonight that much more interesting. Either someone is plowing through work, looking for work, or thinking of finishing up work. Some are raising young kids, others teens, while others still are free now that their brood are independent of them.

Some are retired, enjoying the good life in the garden.

Some holiday a couple times a year.

Some are dreaming of their next holiday (um, us? 😂)

We get along, but we also argue. We shit-stir, and we agree to disagree.

And although there’s so much separating our very specific and individual lives, there’s one major factor unifying us all.

And that’s family.

We were together for a kid’s birthday today. And not ‘kid’s birthday’ in the literal sense… although there was rainbow cake, pink balloons, dress-ups and a jumping castle…

But there was so much noise. Rowdiness. Gee we can be f$#&ing loud! Anyone passing by outside would be forgiven in thinking it was anything but a kid’s birthday party.

We are passionate, yet we still have our problems. Health problems, kid problems, work problems and just generally, LIFE problems.

We share all this to lighten our load, then we smile. Eat some cake and drink some wine.

Go home full in our bellies and our hearts.

Because we are family.

And gee, I missed them. ❤

 

 

 

 

#1474 A date with the parentals

In light of things about to get a whole lot busier, it was lovely to have this pre-planned day, to head across town and meet my parents in a shopping centre, near my old ‘hood.

Memories.

First I was just wandering without a care. Look here, look there… go wherever I damn like.

When I met up with them, it was BUT FIRST, COFFEE.

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And then the pinnacle of the day, being also the least active… when Mum and I lay down to have massages.

Ahhh.

The lady who did my back, was kneading a point in my left shoulder blade so much that I nearly cried out. But I gritted through the pain, to get to the glory.

Huh. Much like life I guess.

It was MAGIC.

Then for lunch I introduced my parents to Roll’d… and if you haven’t tried their food, you are missing out. They are delicious.

And now my parents think so too. 😉👌

Best of all, was the bonding and quality time spent with them… because I just know at the end of it all, we all walk away, feeling happier and lighter.

#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.