#2029 A bit of everything Sunday

It was about 5pm today when I realised I felt… different.

This was a novel way for me to feel on a Sunday afternoon.

I felt happy. Content and even a bit excited about the week ahead.

WHY?

I am always dealing with massive Monday-itis feelings come Sunday afternoon, yes even in lockdown. It’s the start of more routine, more work, more home-schooling, and after having spent the day with Hubbie and baby girl, it just really makes me sad that we won’t all be together the next day.

So why was I happy?

Well, I think it was a bit of everything.

Father’s Day, of course. Showering Hubbie with cards and surprise gifts this morning.

Having video calls with family, which really put a smile on my dial. Seeing my Dad and Mum, and sis and bro-in-law made me feel happy and connected to them despite the distance between us in lockdown.

Then I made this new soup recipe, a chicken, vegetable and pasta soup, and it was really yum! So I was stewing over that (almost literally) ’til lunchtime.

And then I wrote up a new weekly timetable for myself, because I often find myself so busy but really scattered, because I don’t know what to do first when I have free time, and end up fluffing around. This way, knowing what day I will focus on what will give me tremendous drive and clarity as to what to do, when. It already worked, today was my clear clutter day, and I was totally killing it. 🀣

So yeah. I am happy, and I don’t have any massive reason why, they’re all little reasons…

(All together now…)

But the little things, ARE the big things. πŸ’–πŸ˜πŸ₯°πŸ’–

#1987 The multicultural writing workshop

I was meant to attend this multicultural workshop today in person, but alas, COVID.

It had been rescheduled many times, and by the time today came I think the organisers felt we could all wait no more.

Put it online.

I had my tea ready, my writing tools, position by the window… check. βœ”

We explored using a language other than English within our writing: whether that be a language we’ve lived with at home, a language we’ve inherited, or a language we’ve learned from living in another place. We experimented with techniques and read poetic examples of other writers who have dabbled in this method of the multilingual writer.

We had a couple of writing exercises too, and I wanted to share one of those with you. In exploring language, and what another language meant to us, and how it defined us… my memory led me to a perfect example.

My childhood example:

“My childhood can’t pinpoint the part at which I learnt to speak English or my ancestral tongue. They are both blended and merged, swirled together in a kaleidoscope of colours; mixed together like the Croatian walnut roll, β€˜orehnjaca’ my Mum made. The walnut filling was a distinct layer, separate from the dough, and yet you couldn’t have one without the other. It was perfect as a whole.

Old footage has me at my third birthday, my mum and godmother encouraging me to repeat the words β€œspider, yuck” after someone had used a rubber spider to scare my arachnophobe sister, consequently scaring me too in the process. I repeated these words to the camera, my childlike voice coming out clearly tinged with the European dialect I was accustomed to.

In the next breath my godmother was laughing about my fear of β€œdebeli kum” and she and my Mum broke up in unrestrained laughter. Spoken so I didn’t understand, but I knew precisely what they were saying – my β€œfat godfather” as they had coined him, who I was petrified of, perhaps not so much for his size, but for his warped German accent when he spoke Croatian, and his loud bellowing β€œmwa ha ha ha” laugh as he joined in on their laughter and teasing.”

Thanks for reading. πŸ™

#1968 The movie-pancake tradition lives on

When I see something like this…

So many memories and people come to mind. I think of catch-ups with my friends, where we’d meet for sweet things and laugh wildly when we all ordered ‘The Hot Ball.’

I think of Hubbie and I in our pre-wedding days. I even had a delicious stack the day before my waters spontaneously broke with baby girl, so any pregnant ladies-to-be can take that to mean you might go into labour if you eat some of their pancakes* (not professional medical advice!)

But mostly, when I see this image, I think of my sister and me.

From as young as I can remember, she would take me to the movies when I was a kid, and then naturally, a visit to The Pancake Parlour would follow.

We would talk about the movie we’d seen, what we loved, and our conversation would naturally flow to everything else in our lives, as these things do when you’re with someone you love and feel so at ease with.

And we would eat, something sweet.

The joke goes that she would be finished with her dessert, and I would be barely half-way through, talking while eating so slowly, scooping the ice cream from the bowl like I had all the time in the world.

We were super lucky today, as baby girl and I got spoiled by my sister for a movie date! The special surprise was my nephew, baby girl’s ‘bestie’ coming along for the day, and we all headed to the cinemas to watch the very sweet Spirit Untamed movie.

But, there was a further surprise after it!

OF COURSE! Pancakes. πŸ₯žπŸ₯ž

The tradition lives on. 😊😊

And even better, we could enjoy it with our kids, and engage in some fun and especially beautiful bonding time.

Guess what? Things haven’t changed much.

Sister finished first again.

I came in about third, or equal second…

And baby girl hasn’t fallen far from the tree. She hasn’t fallen far, at all.

That is all. 🀣🀣

#1953 One of my fave Winter days

Today is one of my favourite Winter days.

June 21st.

It sits nicely amongst other fave Winter days, and the unifying theme is all about hope. Hope, and happiness.

So, what are my fave Winter days? I never thought you’d ask.

June 1st is first. There is so much dread and anxiety approaching the coldest season of the year, that honestly having the day tick over to Winter is a RELIEF. The waiting is over, and most of the time, it ain’t that bad.

And also, this year was really not that bad at all. You know what’s bad? Covid, and LOCKDOWNS. But Winter? Nah. Chuck on a jacket and go outside with your freedom.

June 10th. This is my sister’s birthday, and so it comes to reason I love it because she’s one of my favourite people. πŸ’–πŸ’–

The end of June is great. We are a month down of Winter! July 15th is a similar reason, in that it’s halfway through Winter, and then end of July, we’re two months done peeps! I consider August HALF-Winter, LOL.

And speaking of August, there is mine and baby girl’s birthdays, including that of everyone I know in my life, pretty much, almost. And I say time and time again, come our birthday, and Spring is in the air, I SWEAR. I will fight this to the end guys.

So, what’s so spesh about June 21st?

Two things, really. Kinda three.

Our engagement anniversary. 13 years ago we had a terrific celebration where our families and friends united for one amazing, joy-filled, hopeful night. Full of happiness, dance, laughter, and great memories.

The second reason is it’s the Winter solstice. The shortest day of the year! So from here on out, the days will incrementally start getting longer, oh-so-small at first but it will be there.

An aside from the Winter solstice is the meaning behind it. Our number three. The spiritual significance of the day has to do with the dark making way for the increasing lighter days, with renewal and rebirth both major themes.

I absolutely love this, and so every year I look forward to it with excitement.

I was lucky in that I had the opportunity to engage in self-care on such a day, a day when your intentions and what you put out into the Universe is paramount. I walked, I worked out. I had coffee, made a warm breakfast. I read, I wrote, I sat in the sun, and I also chilled, like watched TV, so, so peacefully.

It is a day of hope, of promise, and after losing a lot of hope for so long, I am feeling like I am starting, very slowly, to gain it back.

And this winter solstice is therefore so timely. 🌞

#1951 Back to hosting

We have had the longest dry spell.

The ‘hosting’ dry spell.

Sure, we’ve seen people. Gone to people’s houses, caught up outside of homes… but between lockdown 1, 2, 3, and then most recently 4, we haven’t had people over at house properly, since like…

πŸ€”πŸ€”…

Hmmm. Honestly, not sure.

Tonight, the seal was broken!

Guess with who? 😁😁

Of course… sis and bro-in-law and family.

It’s reminded us of what we love doing so much, and I think the next few months will see an influx of people into our home, all willing, given the dam walls have now crashed down and the water is rushing through.

Happy times, memories, good company.

What more could one ask for? πŸ’–πŸ’–

#1915 Holding on when it’s hard

“You gotta be tough when life gets hard. This is when you need to be strong. It’s easy when everything’s great.”

These are the words Hubbie was telling me as I lay on the couch tonight crying.

I’ve had health issues with seemingly no end in sight. And when I say no end in sight, I mean 9 months counting.

Counting.

I was having a particularly low moment tonight.

But what I did next helped insurmountably.

I talked. I spoke to Hubbie. I messaged my bestie. I messaged my sister.

I reached out. It was hard, and I was crying my eyes out as I did it, but I did it.

And it helped so, so much.

And I can say, I understand the intent of the quote “a problem shared is a problem halved.” It is. By talking about your problems with someone, the weight is lifted off of you… the issue itself moves away from you, is made a bit lesser, just by letting it out of you, and watching your words float away…

Speaking of quotes, bestie shared a great one with me.

“Before something great happens, everything falls apart.”

I feel that. I believe that. It’s just sometimes, everything gets too hard and I fall into falling apart, more than I do reminding myself that something great will come out of it.

I’m still in the first stage, but I’m waiting…

And it’s set me off to look for more quotes that will inspire me and get me out of this funk.

If you are feeling low, please:

Talk to someone.

Distract yourself with something that will make you happy, i.e. inspirational quotes.

REPEAT.

I will not be sharing this post on facebook like I do my others. Last time I shared a difficult post I had all manner of family and friends reaching out in concern, which was wonderful… but it’s also not why I do this.

I am doing this, to find gratitude in every day, no matter how hard it is. And I know how truly hard it was for me today, because I was an inch away from giving all of this up. The gratitude, the blog, everything.

But, I held on. I am HANGING ON. And this post here, is proof of that.

I am grateful to be hanging on.

Photo by Luca Nardone on Pexels.com

#1909 Luck in 4s

We had a beautiful pre-Mother’s Day catch-up tonight with my parents, sister and family.

We went out for dinner, and there was a kids play area in one corner of the restaurant that baby girl was rapt to spend a good half of the night in.

Aside from the usual good humour, happiness and laughter that spreads across the table when we all meet up, we took pleasure in watching baby girl try to achieve something.

Or rather, watch baby girl convince OTHERS to help her achieve something.

She was after ALL THE COINS. The reason being, she wanted to get a toy from within that claw machine game.

You know the one.

You put in a coin.

Position the claw over toy of choice.

Hit the button and down the claw-hand goes, seeming to clutch around the object of your fluffy affection… only for it to slide out of its claw-grip as it begins its ascent.

And you think, damn.

So close.

Well, luck was on ALL our sides tonight.

First, my nephew won baby girl her first toy, a white bear with a red heart on the front. He did so easily, to the point where I seriously wondered if he’d caught hundreds like it before.

The second one, she worked for. Many more coins went in, and she had her heart set on a My Little Pony toy, Twilight Sparkle, to be precise.

And then finally, he got it for her again.

But like an addict, baby girl wanted more. She had one, then she wanted two, and now she kept saying, just one more game, just one more game…

I was out of coins. But Baka heard.

My Mum was like, here’s some coins.

Back she went, alone this time.

And we watched through the windows, as the claw came up with a toy, and dropped it down the chute.

We couldn’t believe it.

Not one, not two, but she had gotten three toys, the last one herself!

This one another pony, Applejack. πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ

OMG. This does not happen. And it does not happen so easily either. I have never seen so many of these toys come out of one of these machines in my whole life, let alone in ONE SITTING.

Wow. 3. The lucky 3, the lucky number.

We were marvelling at the incredible luck she had this evening, when some older guys, perhaps in their 20s, walked by.

Holding a toy.

They said “do you want this?”

To baby girl.

She said “YES!”

And suddenly, there were 4! 4 toys!

The first one came fairly easy. The second one had to be worked for. Third was a stroke of chance, coupled with determination… and then the fourth just fell out of the sky.

Forget about lucky 3… the lucky 4 is in town.

πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

#1901 3 beach day

I stood on the sand after 4pm, telling baby girl’s friend’s mum, that it was in fact my third visit to the sea and sand that day.

“Oh, you poor thing,” she teased.

I did in fact, feel bad to say it out loud. 3 beach visits in a day? Gee, sounds stressful!

But it happened rather randomly and unexpectedly, and the way it happened felt like it was MEANT to happen.

Maybe because things have been so shit for some time, the Universe aligned to give me a great, sunshine-y day. 🌞

I had important errands this morning after school drop-off, and after they were done I grabbed an egg and bacon toastie from Banjo’s, a cappuccino from Store Fifteen, and walked on down to the beach.

I’d had an egg and bacon toastie from Banjo’s YONKS ago, and back then it had blown my mind. Well it was pretty delish today, not really any mind-blowing, but that’s because I think I had cheese then, and not today.

Having not had any food since waking up, that brekkie on the beach was the best thing ever. I made friends with the seagulls, squinted into the sun, and watched a sea plane land in the water! It was incredible.

Then my sister and parents visited after lunch, with the sole purpose being, ‘a beach visit.’

So, again. First it had been Mothers.

This time, Mills.

I really loved that my parents seemed to enjoy it. Sis enjoyed it of course, for sure, she loves the water as I do. She dipped her feet into the mild waters, and Dad even did a light jog alongside the water, which we were rapt to see.

I went to pick up baby girl from school hours later, looking forward to a chill afternoon. The last few days had been pretty busy.

But she and her friend had another plan in mind.

They wanted a beach playdate!

And so we found ourselves at Mills again, 30 minutes later. πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ

The water was colder, and the tide had come in so much, it actually blew my mind how short the span of sand now was. But us Mums sat and talked, the girls wade through the waters looking for so-called pearls, they made sandcastles, and we saw what we were pretty sure were dolphins, far off in the waters, spraying up water! Unbelievable.

3 beach visits. I know I’ve had 2 in a day before, but this is taking the cake, AND for the last day of April, in Autumn… just wow.

And it may seem overly boastful, or excessive… but trust me, with the way things have gone since last year, I need about 54 beach visits in a day to make up for all the hard times that have transpired.

But 3 is good for now. I’ll raincheck the rest. πŸ˜‰

But now, I AM BUGGERED. Think I’ll stay home and do lots of washing tomorrow… πŸ˜‚

#1899 Hope in another backyard

I’ve had a pretty crazy day.

Two appointments on the other side of town, visiting my parents and sister and fam in between that, and then a big writers meet-up at the end of the night back home.

It’s been a lot.

It’s been a day of a lot of things. Hope. New directions. New people. New plans.

I’m a glass half-full gal, and things are starting to feel right. That glass is filling up again.

With HOPE. 🀞

I’m going on, rambling a bit, I know. I just don’t really know where to rest my creative mind, to release these thoughts from, what to centre on when much has given me happiness today.

But I will talk about nature, because it inspires me.

Specifically, my parents and my sister’s backyard.

I used to love spending time in the backyard of my childhood home. All those memories, all those fun times, so much joy within those trees and the shady spots. I was amazed and surprised then, when I found myself loving my parents’ NEW backyard, finding beauty in little pockets of grass, verdant greenery full and lush underneath your feet, life brimming and blooming from the smallest spring of herb, to a wide-reaching leaf of a fern.

That beauty extends equally to my sister’s backyard.

I was admiring this gorgeous tree, sprouting golden Autumn leaves. We were in her backyard sitting and talking, and so many times I was accidentally witness to a yellow leaf floating easily to the ground.

Before my very eyes.

It was a magical sight.

And I realised later when I headed off, how I find beauty in both of their backyards, and how that must mean something more… for those we love, we find the beauty inherent everywhere, all around them, because they are love.

We are doing renovations at the moment… small ones, yet they will hopefully be long, beautiful and lasting.

(On us, or our backyard do you think????)

One day I hope, someone will look at our yard and see the beauty lying in wait, wanting to be found.

I hope we find it there too. πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸŒ³πŸŒ³

#1836 Brief visit, and the tick of approval

Today my Mum and my sister swung by very briefly.

It was so good to see them, even though the time was limited.

As they headed home I sent with them my home-made plum dumplings, and hours later got a call from Mum…

She was in approval. My knedle, were good!

You know, no matter how old you are, approval from your parents is still so important.

And Mum approves of the dumplings.

YES!