#547 The Penguin tradition

I was about 8 or 9 when I went with my parents, sister, her then boyfriend (my soon-to-be brother-in-law) and a whole lot of extended family and cousins, to Phillip Island, where as tradition has it, we saw the Penguins.

Today, for the first time in about 25 years, I went back… with the first-timers, Hubbie and baby girl in tow.

I may as well have been a first-timer, it has been that long. Being a Monday we thought it would be quiet. Like, I actually thought, there may be like, another group of people beside us… something like, 25 or so?

Try 25 HUNDRED. Or so.

There were soooooo many people. So many tourists, and buses, and guides, it was like OMG.

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Despite the crazy, we waited in the stands in the surprisingly calm Wintery air, and saw a few groups of penguins approach from the crashing night-time waves. After seeing half the crowd up and suddenly disappear within 20 minutes, we decided too to investigate and see if we could find any penguins who had made their way back from the sea, heading into their burrows and bushy-homes for the night.

We saw heaps. Baby girl was up close and personal with several of them, pressed against the barbed fence that separated the humans from the penguin track, saying “awww, so cute,” as they waddled past, and even waving goodbye to them as they made their way further and further in-land.

It was very sweet. And then once we had had our fill of penguin cuteness, some more adorable overload.

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I mean, when there is something so exceptionally life-sized, it is a MUST to pose alongside it, yes?

Penguin joy passing from generation to generation. I promise I won’t wait 25 years until next time.

#524 Sister’s impromptu visit AND dessert

It was another fabulous Saturday night surprise, when sis and bro-in-law dropped in late this evening. And as much as I love love LOVE their company, there was a little, tiny itty-bitty, (actually not really that small) icing on the cake that topped it off.

Or should I say, chocolate mousse in a bowl that topped it off?

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I am a chocolate mousse girl, through and through. In fact, I think we need a re-birth of this typically 90s dessert. It is sooo delicious, yet oh-so-simple. Sis does a simple take on it, that leaves it feeling very light and moorish, a complete necessity since chocolate mousse that is too sweet is just NOT the way it’s meant to be. Nor is it meant to be cream. It’s meant to have lightness, air, and yes, a mild sweetness to it. Which is why I proclaim hers, THE BEST.

I hadn’t had it, much less thought about hers or any other chocolate mousse in such a long time, that when I saw it outstretched in her hands when she walked in, I didn’t do the obligatory ‘no, you didn’t have to!’ that so many people do when their guests bring food to their house.

Instead, I was –

“Ohhh, thanks! I haven’t had it in so long! Here I’ll pop it in the fridge straight away…”

Tee hee hee.

A couple of hours later, and baby girl was indulging in her first taste of her Aunty’s choc mousse.

SHE DEVOURED IT.

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Like Mama, like daughter.

Although the choc mousse was a pleasant highlight to the night, aside from that we had an awesome time together, the group of us. More music, more singing, more D&Ms… it’s always a fun and memorable night when its with those you love the most.

Tonight’s playlist included:

Baby I’m a Star – Prince

Are You With Me – Lost Frequencies

Jessie’s Girl – Rick Springfield (random youtube selections were trying to tell Hubbie and bro-in-law something…)

Do I Wanna Know – Arctic Monkeys

And due to some 80s raspy-voiced renaissance, Cyndi Lauper hits made a BIG mark on tonight too.

Sometimes I think, if we were fortunate enough to live right next door to one another, would we tire of seeing each other other all the time?

I don’t have to even think for that answer, really. The response is NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER.

EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER.

EVER.

EVER EVER.

EVER.

..

EVER.

.

 

 

#504 Work ‘break’

This ain’t the type of work break you’re thinking of.

You immediately thought I was grateful for getting a break from work, right?

WRONG.

I am so grateful today, that I was able to get a break, by going to work.

Yep. I’m hitting the gratitude game hard when I’m thankful for work on a Sunday. Let me explain.

I mentioned that yesterday was a difficult day for me. I was flat, lowly, and in my trakkies all day, having only left the house to walk down the driveway and wave off my sister in the late afternoon.

I was also physically unwell. I was really keen for it all to be over soon.

Soon came when I woke up at 5:30 this Sunday morning.

And I was ok. I was happy, even. I questioned myself at several moments throughout the work day, and realised that despite how low I had gotten yesterday, NOW I was actually quite, alright.

I felt really good actually.

How had this come about? Clarity? Hindsight? I can’t even put it down to a good night’s sleep, because baby girl woke me once throughout the night, I was struggling with too many covers at another point, and in total I probably had about 5 and a half hours of shut-eye.

Then I realised.

It was DISTANCE.

I had removed myself from the place where I had been so upset – our haven, our home, our security – and in doing so, stepped away and out of the problem.

Doing so made me feel fresh and bright-eyed again. The problem was still there. But now I could deal with it and take the steps necessary to move forward, with a level-head.

And often I find, when you have a problem and you throw yourself into something completely unrelated, i.e. work…. suddenly things seem much more manageable a couple of hours or so later.

Thank you work. You are actually my God-send, my relief, my break and my holiday, in so many, many, many ways.

 

#503 Sister’s surprise visit

Today was not as I had to expected it to be – and not in a nice way. It was pretty devastating and heartbreaking to tell you the truth.

I was going to spend the day at home, with baby girl, on this sunny day on the 1st of July, feeling sorry for myself. Disenchanted about life and everything in it, questioning signs, asking for answers, and tearing my hair out in the mess of it all.

And then, fate, divine intervention, a sixth sense stepped in… what else can we call it? Oh that’s right.

My sister.

She must somehow know these things, sense these things. Know that somehow, somewhere, a part of me is crying out for help, support, a shoulder to sob on…

She came by, and it was the most unexpectedly happy moment of the day.

I did ask for help. I did ask for support. And I did have her shoulder to cry on.

And she said yes, yes, yes, with all of her heart.

Not all the day was doom and gloom. We both purged. We both laughed. We both went deep and delved.

And I caught this light-filled moment, light in every definition of the word, as she and baby girl jumped on the trampoline.

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♥♥♥

Thank you sis. I couldn’t live without your love. 🙂

#489 Dancing in the kitchen with my loves part 5

Loves Loves LOVES. ALL my LOVES.

It was actually my sister and bro-in-laws impromptu visit late this afternoon that made me first go ‘this is heading to my gratitude blog today.’ We had had no real, or proper, or concrete (and for that case, ‘fun’) plans for tonight, so when they called and said they were coming – like literally, in the car and on their way – we knew it was going to be one of those nights.

Those great, spontaneous, super-memorable and fun nights.

Of course, they weren’t gonna stay late. Of course, they said they would leave, the early statements starting from 8pm.

Of course, Hubbie wouldn’t drink much – after all he had a really bad chesty cough, and was under-the-weather.

Of course it would be low-key.

Yeah, right.

They left at 11:30pm.

Hubbie drank alright.

And we sang and played music all night long. Oh yeah, and danced.***

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As sis said tonight, “baby girl had no choice being born into our families.” We all love to party, and dance. And tonight, we boogied and jumped and carried each other around, stood on stools and yelled our lungs out, with a few choice and memorable songs being

“Love is All Around Me” – Wet Wet Wet

“Lido” – Boz Scaggs

“Shape of You” – Ed Sheeran

“Come said the Boy” – Mondo Rock

“Groove is in the Heart” – Dee-lite

and sooo many more, all blasting out of our new portable speaker!

Love the songs, love the new speaker, and love all of these people, making memories in our kitchen… :):):)

 

***Can you tell I’m going for the award of best blurry photos on the net? My disposition for unclear and hazy photos has nothing to do with trying to remain anonymous, I promise 😉

 

#482 My sister’s birthday

There are some days, lo and behold, that I get as excited by as I do my own birthday – and apart from Christmas and Easter, these other days are the birthdays of my immediate family.

I mean, who doesn’t want to celebrate one of the most important people in their life, to commemorate the day they were brought onto this earth, and immediately made all things better with their presence?

The day I was so excited to commemorate today was that of my sister’s birthday.

The day was cold and crisp, but the sun was glorious in its strict denial of taking on any Winter gloom. Perfect for her. The rays shone bright on her special day, just as her vibrant and uplifting presence fills those around her with constant joy and happiness.

There were select family and friends. A medium group, but one that knew each other well. Casual combo, sometimes serious, sometimes light, sometimes banter, most times shit-stirring. Food, plenty of cake, drinks and then the few ‘shots,’ a throwback to all the parties we used to down years before we had kids, when we’d go one, after one, after one, after one…

We’ll get to that stage again, I’m sure. This is my family after all.

And then the night ended happily, as is the norm, with baby girl and sister sharing a ride on the egg chair…

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Weee! they went! Round and round, ’til the movements grew slow, the hand went past midnight, and baby girl’s head leant against her aunty’s, eyes drooping as she still tried to watch her fave Explorer on Netflix.

And it was another great night, to celebrate an amazing woman in my life.

Happy Birthday big sis :*

#471 The Box of Barbie Memories

“Why don’t you take home that box of dolls you have?” Mum had asked me. “You said when she was younger that you wanted to wait a bit more, but now she might enjoy it.”

I could see where she was going. When she had asked me about a year ago if I wanted to take home with me an old box of Barbies I had packed away at my parents house when I was a pre-teen, I had said that I’d rather wait until baby girl was older, and ‘into’ dolls more. Also, I didn’t want to be adding another box of stuff to our household, when we already had so much ‘stuff.’

But I realised today, that baby girl was not only older, but she was definitely into dolls: she had two of her own Barbies, given to her as pressies over the last 6 months, and she loved the whole figurine, dress-up, pretend-play games she did with them. It was actually, perfect timing.

When at my parents place, they started looking for them in a wardrobe, and it almost looked like they wouldn’t be found for a little while. When they almost gave up, Dad stumbled across the box.

Just looking at the box, brought back memories: both the box, and the packing of it. With the latter, I actually had the faintest memory of packing it – in that room where it was found, my old ‘first’ room (before my sister moved out and then I moved into her room because it was front-facing and bigger), I remembered placing the barbies neatly against one another and on top of each other, before gently packing it all away… for good.

For another day, another time. I didn’t know then what I would be doing with it in 20 years time. That I would be giving it a new lease on life.

Secondly, the box.

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The Kraft box. My Dad worked there for a good couple of decades, and each year for their annual Christmas party, each employee was invited to the party for a lunch, bringing home a festive box full of Krafty goodies – cheeses, spreads, biscuits, and any other new product that wasn’t even on the shelves yet. I was always so excited when Dad came home from these Christmas parties – I’d come home from school, looking around the kitchen and dining room table, hoping to see a Christmas-y coloured box, with tinsel bursting from the sides. And Dad knew I’d get so excited about it, smiling just as much as me when I finally saw the box. Going through the contents of the box, was a happy, pre-Christmas tradition for me.

Even after he stopped working there, he was still invited, along with other long-standing employees of the company, to a former employees Christmas Party… that sadly, soon stopped fairly soon after, after new management came along. I remember the sadness and disappointment I felt in discovering the goodie box, was good, no more. So this box that I was staring at today, was quite possibly, one of, if not the, last boxes he ever received.

And I’d put my Barbies into it. Memories upon memories.

The only way I got baby girl into the car today was the promise of playing with Barbie dolls at home. So once there, I complied.

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Finding all my dolls, some just that, plain dolls, ‘wannabe Barbies’ and others the very real deal, was seriously like stepping into a time capsule that I myself had buried 2 decades ago. I found dolls I had forgotten about, costumes and shoes I didn’t know I had, and also the barbies that I faintly remembered – and then of course Ken. Who could forget when one got a Ken doll? That was a special thing back in the day.

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(Some funky outfits they had)

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(Check out the blonde ‘fro – yeah yeah!)

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(I won this Ariel doll in a kids mag comp, and I was STOKED… but one of her legs broke as soon as we lifted her out, maybe she should have stayed in mermaid form…)

I told baby girl that she must take extra care with these dolls, and pack them away gently as they were found. I think she knows what to do, but still, I have to make sure these Barbies are under supervision by me or Hubbie when she is playing with them. Even he agrees, saying “they’re old enough to go on club reg.”

Too right.

But even though I’m happy for baby girl to play with my cherished old Barbies, there is one thing I think I’m going to have to change – the box. Old and flimsy as it is, and with the addition of a piece of paper that was on the bottom of the box, where my Mum scrawled Dad’s last day of work at Kraft… I don’t know, but I think I need to put away this box, this special box of so much history and memories, and use it for my own good, and get a new box for baby girl to put all her old/new barbies in.

I know it’s just a box, but it’s what it represents that is priceless.