#851 In hot water

When you move to an old house, that just so happens to also be your dream house… well you’re happy, that’s to be expected. But at the same time, the time comes where you need to start renovating, and removing the old, from your old house.

And each time we give our house the much-needed facelift it so desperately needs, we breathe a united sigh of relief: “Ahh. Another thing down.”

Let me provide you now with a song by one of my favourite groups:

It is totally relevant, let me assure you. Because it is related to our most recent house facelift. Queen sing about being Under Pressure as a bad thing… sure, when you’re rushing to work, rushing home, rushing through life… trying to make ends meet, being pulled left and right by family and friends, trying to find the money to make it through… Sure, that pressure is SHIT.

But not all pressure is shit. For example, like that essential water pressure you require to come out of a tap.

Segue eat your heart out.

Our house was built sometime in the early 80s… and we may have inadvertently found out the actual year, when we first reviewed our building inspection report before buying the house, and found on a photo of the very old electric hot water unit, the year ‘1980.’

1980! Not just the house, but the electric hot water unit! Who even has electric hot water units these days?

Until this morning, we did.

We were living on the edge for a year and a half. Because of the age of the system, we were told that changing it to a newer hot water unit was imperative… and instead of doing it immediately, we waited…

Why? Because priorities. Other things seemed more important. Also $$$. And then again, I mean, it was still working… just for how long, we didn’t know.

But we made it. We made it through without the dreaded ancient thing exploding on us. It used to make this insane screeching sound, each time the faucet was turned to hot. This shrieking was reminiscent of the horror scene from Psycho, with longer pauses between screeches, and the screams themselves prolonged. Hear, have a listen from 1:10 (or if you wanna freak yourself out watch the WHOLE THING):

I am not kidding you when I say our hot water system would screech like that when you turned it on. We grew accustomed to the racket, the ongoing Psycho shower scene of our life that we were stuck in, like a really horrible episode of the Twilight Zone, yet at the same time not so accustomed so as to turn it on in the morning to wake up a certain princess. No siree, I wasn’t going to let Hubbie, or myself, risk that.

Freezing cold water for every early morning it was.

And the pressure! Ever since renovating the kitchen, well the old hot water system suddenly couldn’t keep up with the new tapware and plumbing. It was frustrating, having a new kitchen, new applicances, all shiny and new and workable, and then there was the

SCREECH SCREECH SCREECH

psycho theme going on in the background, with non-existent water pressure.

But today. Ohhhh today. This:

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We finally got our new gas hot water system installed. It is huge, it is situated outside, NOT in the prehistoric ‘attic’ position, and well, there is pressure.

It is HOT, but it is set at a certain temperature so it is not scalding. I won’t develop 3rd degree burns when I turn the lever a little too much to the bottom when washing dishes.

It may be the most boring as batshit post to some, but to me, to us, it is everything…

Looking forward to turning up the heat tomorrow morning… and no more of this –

psycho shower scene

 

 

#842 Scones and Schnitzel

It’s kinda hard to look for gratitude and try to find small things that make you happy in amongst shitty days, even more so when those shitty days reveal even worser days for others.

How can one complain about smaller issues when they know of family or friends in ill-health or distress?

It actually reminds me of what I used to say after my father-in-law passed away. Here I was, a new Mum to a beautiful baby girl, yet still completely overwhelmed by my new parent role and the life that came with it; and then there was Hubbie, equally besotted by her, while simultaneously still in deep grief over his father’s passing. And sometimes, someone, somewhere, would tell me they were having a bad day.

They would quickly realise their words in my company, and apologise for complaining. They saw in me, in us, in our family, that there were far harder things to go through. To manage. To overcome.

But you know what I would say to them?

“Everyone has their own problems. You shouldn’t feel bad about yours, and feel guilty that they aren’t big enough to cry over. You are allowed to be upset, it’s your life, your problems.”

Sure, little problems in light of big problems become an awareness of the bigger picture, and that enlightenment is major in itself.

But we can’t all be in woe at the same time, can we? Then we wouldn’t have those others around us, less in woe, to pick us up from our sadness…

At this time of my life, I think I’m in a state of ‘less in woe.’

So I’m grateful.

But that isn’t what this gratitude post is about. That in itself is actually huge, more so because I know, and I have felt the comparison of being WHOLEHEARTEDLY in woe.

This is perhaps about the most trivial of things in light of today… baking.

For a week now I’ve been planning on making scones. They seem to make them for any given reason at baby girl’s kindergarten. Parents getting to know each other afternoon tea? SCONES. Mother’s Day? SCONES. Neighbourhood primary school visits? SCONES.

A possum jumps from the gum trees into the yard and shits all over the kids play equipment?

SCONES.

Ok so clearly I am bullshitting with you but you get my drift. I have not made scones in ages, well since we moved here really, and part of that has to do with

  1. kitchen reno, AND
  2. having half my kitchen stuff still in boxes upstairs because I’m waiting on one more damn cupboard (COME ON kitchen guys!) to get made.

I’ve forgotten half of what I do own in the way of bakeware and pans and the like, it’s been that long I’ve seen half of my things. But after repeated reminders by the kinder that both baby girl and I, really enjoy them, well I said to myself “I’ll damn well making them.”

You require next to nothing to make scones after all.

I really wanted to be grateful for them, really I did. And at the end, I was, for some brief moment at the end as I indulged in jam and cream upon pillows on doughy lightness that were apparently ‘café-style’…

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But the ‘before’ was hard, because baby girl was sick you see. I held her back from kinder, quite rich since THAT IS THE PLACE SHE CATCHES ALL HER WEEKLY COLDS FROM.

Not shitty much.

She was weak, tired, and developed a sudden ear ache during the day which had her retreating to the couch often to lie down. I had imagined us making these together with happiness… the most she did was brush the tops with milk.

And then the ‘after’… because as I was trying to enjoy my coffee/scone break, breathing slowly, ALONE, in peace, once baby girl had finished her babycino… I somehow spilt my coffee.

No, it gets worse. ON MY PHONE.

I swore better than a sailor out at sea. OH MY. Baby girl knows her Mum too well, and wasn’t afraid. In fact she came up to me and asked “Mama, you ok?”

Awww.

So instead of being grateful for my scones, the preparation time with baby girl which wasn’t special, and then the clean up which was devastating (I’d let dishes pile up half of the day), I instead became appreciative of something else.

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Hubbie cooked a killer chicken parmigiana tonight. He cooked it fresh, placed passata and ham and freshly grated cheese on top, grilled it in the oven, and it was THE BOMB.

The best part to him making it for us?

I didn’t have to clean it up.

(That wasn’t agreed to from his original contract, but from the day I’d had, there was no other choice).

Every time I complain about something going shitty, really I am grateful… because I do know better… I know better, that there is worse.

P.S My phone survived

#803 New place, old feels

I was in a new place within my old ‘hood today…

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And no matter how new and improved some places become, still, the ‘feels’ remain. The emotions and memories and time spent there with loved ones, the catch-ups and stories you can tell about what happened many moons ago, well those are priceless. No amount of renovating could take that away.

I have no qualms about new and improved, and renovations. Noooo, siree. I caught up with an old work friend in the new entertainment eatery section of Westfield in Plenty Valley, and while baby girl had a ball climbing in the above NEW suspended rope tunnels in the funky outdoor area, I enjoyed a bird and brie burger from an eatery which may or may not have been there before… but it was still all NEW to me.

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I am happy for changing and for trying new things, embracing what is ahead while still holding onto what is dear to me from the past. That was what was representative of today.

And over time, those new places give you new feels, which over time turn into old feels… and that’s how memories are made 🙂

#690 Coffee/Park/Beach break

Long story short… I was pissed off.

Short story long… following the splashback tiles going on in our kitchen just before Christmas, I still hadn’t had a chance to apply the grout sealer/protector, to keep them cleaner and protected against any guaranteed future splashes, squirts and splatters that would occur while cooking.

It had been bugging me, as not only was the tile grouting not sealed, but the oven was still moved forward because of this, and we were only allowed to use the front stove points. Also, certain corner and nearby cupboards were made harder to access, and all in all I just wanted to seal the tiles and move the oven back so everything was nicer and easier to use.

But when I sprayed the sealer on, and then as ‘per the bottle instructions,’ went to wipe the excess off the tiles an hour later… it came off, kind of. Remaining on the tiles were these annoyingly faint spray marks, ALL over the tiles as they had dried. I soon learnt they did not come off easily, AT ALL.

So after several hours, of first using paper towel with water, then paper towel with vinegar, and then a soft scouring non-scratching sponge with vinegar, I got MOST of it off.

Stuff that. I honestly couldn’t care anymore. I had probably removed most of the grout protector with my cleaning too, but I HONESTLY DIDN’T CARE ANYMORE.

I sat down at 3pm on the couch with a huff. I could hear baby girl in the nearby room playing with her toys so I sat breathing for 5 minutes. Still getting over being seriously pissed off. Then I got out our shoes, with baby girl asking me “Mama, where you take me?”

“I don’t know honey, let’s just go somewhere.”

Somewhere, led us to the Main Street with holiday-makers galore. I had to wonder if Hubbie and I were such sore thumbs when we used to weekend it over here…

And first, was the caffeine/sweet-tooth break.

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Ahhh, my sweet. As I stirred my coffee salaciously, I started to unwind.

Next, a short walk down the block to the big park by the bay. Baby girl swung for what felt like forever, and I let her. She too had been stuck inside as I had gone ape-shit on the kitchen tiles.

But I needed that BIT more ‘ahh’ time. I convinced her into a walk up to the water views at the end of the street… and then as we approached the ice cream van parked along the street, she convinced me into an ice cream.

What the hell. It was Summer, January, I had had an annoying few hours of the day, and although we weren’t on holiday just yet, I sure as hell was feeling those holiday vibes rubbing off on me from everyone else.

We wandered over to the lookout, sitting on a nearby bench, with the clifftop drop just metres away from our feet.

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Baby girl slurped her quickly melting ice cream, I helped her, we clutched on our hats as they both almost flew off our heads, and then I turned my attention to the vast expanse of water in front of us, breathing in the negative ions of the water, which if we’re being honest and literal, is actually POSITIVE.

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The wind nearly swept me away, but where I didn’t go, my problems and worries and all my annoying moments of the day, went. And then back to the park, for some more swinging fun…

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#685 Baby girl and besties

It’s a beautiful thing to catch up with old friends. It’s even better, when your child welcomes them with open arms.

And hugs.

And kisses.

And jumps all over them.

And plays with them.

And tells them they are her best friends in “whole my world.”

Not ‘my whole world.’

WHOLE MY WORLD.

That is more special. Or should I say, special more.

It was a great night for us all, and every time we vow we won’t leave it so long ’til the next catch up… and then LIFE catches up, but still, we keep on trying. That is the thing with real friends, no matter what, you always try.

You are together for the night, and time flies and you don’t realise how much time has passed, because time feels like nothing at all when the company is so precious.

There was talking, laughter and music, and baby girl took photographic evidence to document IT ALL.

See, this is our Christmas tree all lit up

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Then this was some of our song selections for the night

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This is the side of Bestie, her hubbie Hubbex, and Hubbie all chilling on the couch.

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This is her foot

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And this is me, with her lego so conveniently sprawled along the coffee table, the tree behind me so beautifully hiding the inconspicuously placed fridge that has still not been moved into place following the kitchen reno (have you ever tried to move a fridge?!?!)

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I know, right? You will have to all form an orderly line and wait to see the entrepreneurial photographic genius that is my daughter. Go on. Take a ticket.

Who else posts blurry photos online? NO ONE. See, we’re already winning.

Happy New Year’s Eve EVE everyone. Hope yours was lit up with joy and friendship too.

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#684 My little doctor

I was in a ‘zone’ – a zone to clean the house as deeply and thoroughly as I could.

The house has not had a proper clean since the kitchen renovations started, so I was really keen.

I walked from the bathroom to the laundry with an arm-full of cleaning products. Because of this, and also, because of SmikG clumsiness, my protruding elbow collided with the handle of the door.

“Ahhh!” I gasped, half-wheezing, half-shrieking, throwing the products onto the nearby bench so I could clutch at my elbow. The impact had sent shock waves into my bone, and it was reverberating, there were pins and needles, and deep, deep agony. I rubbed it wildly, trying to get a grip of myself, but the sounds still came out.

“OW! Oh oh oh, ouch, ohhhhhhh!”

I knew what would come as soon as I became vocal, and sure enough in amongst my canine-like yelping, came the sound of small running footsteps.

Thud thud thud thud thud.

Baby girl flew past the laundry door, before coming to a halt and backtracking when she saw where I was. She came over quickly and looked up at me all wide-eyed as I held my elbow, grimacing.

“Mama you ok?”

“Oh, Mama hurt her elbow very bad, it hurts!”

She held my arm and kissed it once, looking up at me all patiently and calmly, full of love, the way I look at her when I am trying to calm her down.

“Feel better?”

“Oh, a little bit. Here kiss it some more.” She immediately obeyed and planted more sweet kisses on my elbow.

“Oh honey, that’s much better, thank you so much my darling.” It still hurt like hell, but my heart was now brimming with love and joy, and that kind of outweighed that pesky elbow pain 😉

#676 The new Pantry

Finally, it appears as if all my Christmases are coming at once.

A late Christmas order I placed two nights ago, that was scheduled to come between 4-7 business days (i.e. AFTER Christmas) came this morning. Score.

A competition I entered a while back on facebook for a free photo shoot valued at up to $1000, well I didn’t win, but I was one of the runners up, which means I still get a voucher to spend on me and my family on a very long overdue family photo update.

Big score.

But no, none of that can quite compare to the other excitement of the day.

Did I win a holiday? That Body Shop Moonshine fragrance suddenly un-discontinue itself? Saved By The Bell is doing a TV reunion show? Angel gets a 6th season?

No no no no.

I restocked our NEW pantry.

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Mammoth score.

I know, right? Thrilling stuff. But seriously, it actually WAS. We have had shit, and by shit I mean all manner of pots pans cups and kitchenware, spread out ALL OVER the house, as well as every single pantry item packed up and out of sight. You can imagine during a house reno how difficult preparing a meal can be. Take that thought, and times it by 500.

For 4 weeks our kitchen has not had a pan or piece of bread living in it. So to be able to put everything back into our new and nicely shelved and organised pantry, neatly, boy oh boy was it satisfying.

And though the kitchen is almost there, I won’t post a before and after yet not only because we still have a few little jobs to complete, but also because I want to make you sweat.

😉

Feeling really ‘Ahhhh’ right about now. I mean, did you see that empty shelf up there? Go on, have another look…

Ahhhh.