#1597 Day 99 of getting there: the cat-astic third iso puzzle

It had to happen.

Winter spreading germs, and people are shit.

JUST STAY HOME!

Lucky for me, I somehow forecast this crap ( I have become strongly accustomed to expecting all kinds of shit, yes even for this glass half-full gratitude gal) and last week when baby girl was at school, came across this $16 puzzle at ‘the cheap shop.’

You know, ‘the cheap shop.’ That budget dollar shop where you’ll find onesies, kitchen accessories, cat litter bags, 50 cent greeting cards, 57 different variety of candles, a range of quirky homewares you think you need (but really you don’t) and also, some kind of party/decorating station in one corner of the shop.

All at below reasonable prices.

It was here I went “a puzzle might come in handy soon.”

And I had to get the most trickiest one yet.

A billion cat faces, mwa ha ha.

It meant that today, we had to pack up the completed Frozen puzzle that’s adorned our dining room table for the past several weeks.

If you find and follow me on Insta, you’ll see the delicious anti-OCD video action.

(Psst, @smikgwriter)

Anyway, we learnt upon opening it tonight that it’s split up into 6 categories… that is, A, B, C, D, E and F. Those letters are at the back of each puzzle piece, so by sorting them alphabetically, well half the work is kinda done.

Such a great idea. Well, we better get cracking then…

#1504 Day 6 of getting there: Supporting local – Kirks

I feel terrible for all the businesses out there suffering through this uncertain and indefinite period.

I look around the town that I love, and I feel even more sad.

Because it’s these small businesses that make my town, what it is.

Sure, people will flock and spend and visit and book things once this all blows over, but that could be months away… meanwhile, how do these places stay afloat?

Keep employees paid?

Keep paying rent?

Keep making money amidst further lockdowns, bans and imposed isolation to ALL?

I’ve been happy to see many businesses going online, getting creative and thinking of other ways to get their business out to people who can’t get out anymore.

Really if you think about it, this is kind of the best time in history that we could have this kind of pandemic. Because even though we may not be able to get out in public…

We can still get out and about online.

I’ve made a concerted decision lately that I will be one of many out there, to support local business. I don’t want the people who make this beautiful part of the world so unique and great, to go under, and I want to make sure they know they are supported, while also trying to send the really strong and important message…

Buy local. Wherever you are. Support small business. Keep them afloat. And tell your friends about it too.

Which is what I am here to do. πŸ˜‰

First on one of my many support locals list… Kirks.

Of course, FOOD.

We have been there heaps of times before, (check out my Food Review from a while ago), it is a local favourite on the Esplanade, and no matter what, we seem to gravitate there, again and again.

They recently released a takeaway/delivery menu in the midst of no more in-dining within their restaurant, and I have to say –

WE WERE EXCITED.

Tonight we got a different kind of food delivery!

Instead of your basic pizza, or fish and chips, or drive-through, it was:

Beef Burger

Prawn and Zucchini Risotto

Chicken nuggets and chips (for baby girl – okay kind of takeaway staple!)

and because we got two main meals in there, we were able to get a bottle of wine for $5.

$5!

It’s only the beginning of my loving local and helping local list, so stay tuned…

It’s going to be a big ride. Let’s get ready for the long haul.

And on an aside, it was Zoom night, part 2…

As we caught up with sis and bro-in-law!

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Who said isolated Saturday nights were going to be boring? Like hell they are!

#1461 Queen rules Love

This is the day, February the 14th, where the world celebrates love.

I on the other hand, have been celebrating love and music, combined.

And legendary rock band Queen has the best song to highlight this heart-shaped day – “You’re my best friend.”

In fact I was so loved-up I had to write about it on my SmikG blog earlier today.

It’s such a perfect Valentine’s Day song, because it can be about any kind of important relationship… that between friends, parent and child, or sisters.

And just for the hell of it, here’s tonight’s sunset:

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What a love-ly view. πŸ˜πŸ˜‚πŸŒ…

 

#1451 My cat, my way

I figure after all this time of Mister F being in our family, that I need to post something about him.

He is great. Truly adorable. We totally have a love-hate relationship. There are times I love him… then there are times, as Hubbie will attest to, where I pretend I’m mad at him, but secretly I’m amused (while smoke shoots out my ears).

πŸ˜πŸ’¨

He is a really loving cat that can also go a bit cray-cray, who’ll swipe you in a sweet way if for example, you are touching him too much while he is napping (but they are so cute when they nap!)

Today I was waiting for a phone call, and so ventured outside to get some sunshine. First he was rubbing against my legs constantly, but when he saw the chair pulled up close to mine, he jumped on it, trying to get as close to me as possible.

Then he saw the table… and being a cat, had to be higher up than me.

So he jumped.

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Here he is, being a typical cat. And of course, here I am being a typical SmikG.

Of course I was never going to post his feline face! πŸ˜„πŸ±πŸ˜»πŸ˜ΈπŸˆπŸΎ

#1447 Me Time no. 1

I can just as easily have named this a ‘reasons why I love living by the beach’ post with the water being a theme and all once again, but the true intentions of my writing and where I am coming from are so different this time.

Sure, it was hot.

Sure, I wanted to make the most of Summer.

Sure, I wasn’t passing up a hot day offer from Melbourne even if it meant I was alone.

Especially because I was alone. πŸ˜‰

But I’ve been in a funny space lately. Neither here nor there. Thinking about life, wondering what to do, in this odd middle-ground of nothingness, where nothing is the only thing that actually happens…

Just a whole lot of thinking instead.

I’ve been coming to grips with this weird phase, reminding myself that we all go through it at certain times of life and it’s part of the whole cocoon process in becoming a new person.

To become a butterfly we must shed our shell. But we must hide out and hibernate first to do so.

Part of my quest this year, the year of balance as I’m calling it, the ‘2020’ year, is to find more time to make me happy.

You might think that is SO easy given I don’t have a job. I have plenty of time, right?

Time doesn’t necessarily equate to heart and purpose though. And it’s awfully hard to find motivation when the car that is your life stalls and has to change new tyres, and you suddenly don’t know where the tyres are coming from. And then someone tells you to not stress, and relax.

You try relax while waiting for a tyre change.

So in the meantime, I really have to do things for me.

Things that fill my soul with purpose.

Things that make me smile.

Things that I miss doing.

Things that I always put on the backburner because I need to cook/clean/make phone calls/do washing/a billion other things on my to-do list.

Going to the beach on my lonesome is just one of those wonderful ‘me’ things.

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(the seagull had to photobomb my solitary beach photo!)

Firstly, when alone at the beach, I have no one in tow, and no one to answer to. I decide when I come and go. I sit on the sand for as long as I like, and I sit in the water for as long as I like.

And today, while sitting in the water and having waves crash over me… well it truly reset my car battery. πŸ˜‰

I’ve written a little story about it on Instagram, about waves and life and letting go, so I do hope you check it out… you can find me under smikgwriter so give me a yell if you’re on there too. β™₯

 

 

#1400 Ninety-three thousand words before midnight

Right down to the wire.

I F^&*ING did it.

Okay well I didn’t actual ‘do it,’ yet… if I did I would be bathing in Moet.

Remember that for when I get published. πŸ˜‰

But tonight, was the night. It was the night I let go of the reins of the horse that has been gallivanting around in my head, vibrating from my fingertips, and taking up creative space on my computer for the past roughly 7-8 years.

Tonight was the night we submitted our full manuscripts!!!!

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Oh my.Β  I actually thought I’d be more nervous, but getting to this point has been gradual, what with submitting 5000 words of our novels at each submission point.

Relief is an understatement.

I am so glad for it to be off my hands for the time being… and having a break from, well what else…

NOT having to write anything.

Oh man. Right on time for Christmas and ALL. Goodnight πŸ™‚

#1391 The writing group

The other night my phone did that messenger ‘ding!’ And without fail I said to Hubbie, “that might be my writing friends.”

😁😁😁

That’s it. I’m done.

I have made it.

I have a writing group. βœπŸ“–

It was such an amazing realisation. They are the people I’ve met in my online course, and we have been reading each other’s work for months now, getting revved up and also totally paranoid and anxiety-ridden over the fact that we need to submit full novels for review and feedback by next weekend.

Not stressing… much… ???

But they make everything okay. We added each other as friends on facebook and have started our own chat away from the restrictions of the online classroom. Most days someone will post something helpful or share some personal writing thoughts, or just cry that they are about to pull out of the course and we will all be like “don’t you dare!”

It’s a lovely place to be, and be a part of. I shared my own structural journey with my novel, taking a photo of the unique way in which I am trying to work out the narrative and see where my themes, characters and rising tension is occurring… yeah unique way, on the floor.

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Yep, there you have it. Your first look at my novel! Good luck making sense of it though (I am struggling too). 🀣

But having people to bounce off ideas, inspire you to keep going, and remind you that after all of this they will be attending your book launch (!), well it’s completely heart warming.

Amazing. It’s a bloody great place to be, and I am so chuffed to be a part of it.

β™₯β™₯β™₯

 

#1338 Hearing the Novel name

I don’t know how I am going to say this. It’s a bit hard to talk about something when you don’t want to use real names.

So I will use pseudonyms. It comes natural for me, being SmikG and all πŸ˜‰

Let’s say the over-riding name for my novel, the series as it were, since I have written the first, and have started the second (albeit very s-l-o-w-l-y) with my intention for it to be part of a very long series…

Is ‘Mountain Peak.’ Yeah that’s about right. Let’s call it that.

But that’s the title of the series, so it comes to reason that each novel would need an individual name, right?

So for this current novel that I am working and re-working and re-working ’til FOREVER it seems, it is called…

‘Experimentation.’

YES! Perfect. No that is not the name, but for purposes of this experimental exercise and real-life scenario, let’s go with that.

Mountain Peak: Experimentation.

That makes sense! You experiment while climbing a mountain’s peak, right?

Tee hee hee.

I was at swimming with baby girl today. She was doing her thing in the pools, while I was doing my Mum thing… having a quiet moment. In the peak of swimming centre traffic, with kids entering pools excited, then exiting the same waters drenched and exhausted, with parents amidst it all watching the clock and holding out towels, and ordering that wet clothes go into plastic bags, I sat with my head lowered, looking at all of social media and trying to remember if there was anything I needed to look up during this temporary moment of non-interruption.

I was getting bored while scroll scroll scrolling, as a Mum sat beside me with her older primary school aged daughter. They were doing something, I didn’t really look up to see, and I just figured they were waiting for a child/sibling to get out of the pool.

Then all of a sudden…

“Experimentation.”

Huh? Had my ears deceived me?

I looked to the side where the Mum and daughter were. They were doing a crossword puzzle. Not wanting to stare and be obvious I quickly looked away, wondering to myself…

‘Did I just imagine that? Did I just hear the name of my novel? I must be kidding myself.’

I went about getting out baby girl’s towel as the end of her session drew near, and the curious cat that I am, I just couldn’t help myself…

The mother-daughter duo were positioned to my right and baby girl’s class was also in that direction, so it made perfect sense to linger my gaze a little longer to watch her retrieve dive sticks from the pool…

(Meanwhile my eyes were insanely scanning their crossword from a distance, looking at all the long words to see, if really…)

BINGO!

There it was. Experimentation.

They had it crossed off.

They had found it.

OMG.

I found it the oddest, funniest, yet also spookiest thing to have someone whisper to themselves, loud enough for me to hear sitting beside them, the name of my novel!

And this name, it isn’t even as common as ‘experimentation.’ Sure, for one particular group of people it might be a daily utterance … but most folks would usually say testing, instead of experimentation, you know?

Yeah, I know, you don’t know… ha ha ha.

And I was just like… woah.

Before I had time to smile or ponder any further, baby girl came over to me soaking and wet, with raindrops of water cascading off her hair and swimsuit, as if it were falling out of the sky… πŸ˜‰

 

#1325 Sunny days

There is so much to do, and so much pleasure to be had, when the sun comes out.

Step 1: Make a flower headpiece for your girl.

As soon as I saw the common Spring flowers today on our walk to get morning coffee, I had to stop. I got baby girl to collect a number of them for me, and proceeded to string them together, as my sister had done for me years ago… I have a picture in my parents front yard, of me in a red tartan dress, sporting my short bob, and a cascade of the same yellow flowers strung around the front of me as a necklace, and a halo of them sitting on top of my head.

I was so young, I’m not sure I even remember the moment… but knowing the photo so well, I feel the joy in it so clearly. I had to recreate it.

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See that yellow? Not even one filter. NOT ONE.

Spring is so beautiful.

Step 2: Find a back beach.

Not a front beach, but a back one. LOL. I think this comes down to whether it is a surf, or bay beach. Well this was most definitely a surf beach.Β 

We headed on to the other side of the Peninsula to access Gunnamatta ocean beach, and the waves were fierce. Rocking! Smashing. Go to my SmikG facebook page for the video, or find me under the same name on insta if you reside there…

The wind was brisk, there were kids splashing in the water (why I never!) and as much as the air was moving through me and chilling me to my core, I have never felt so ALIVE.

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We are heading back there on a hot day to jump those waves.

Step 3: Admire some more natural beauty…

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Tulip day 2.Β 

Ahh, Spring… how I have missed you.

#1296 A new season of Self-care

Spring is the beginning of many things.

Growth. Renewal. Sunshine. Greenery.

It just so coincides with a decision I made only yesterday, on the first day of it, to do something new.

To look after myself.

I’ve been on a bit of a journey, a spiritual awakening of late. My normal awareness of mind, body and soul has skyrocketed to another level.

In turn, I come to the conclusion that, like my Mum always says “you are your own doctor.”

I am my own doctor.

We know, intuitively, what we need. No one else can really tell us that. Even if we do learn something from an ‘authority,’ really, something inside of us has been trying to tell us that all along… give us worldly signs… throw our body off-kilter so that we take notice…

Even, send us dreams.

There is always something there, something trying to get through.

It’s just whether we are allowing ourselves to listen or not.

I’m not going to do anything crazy. I just have a heightened awareness, and in order to nourish my body, in making mindful food choices and trying to be more active, I will also be doing things for my mind, and my soul.

Yoga.

Meditation.

Music – I find it so therapeutic, and I am actually going to be singing/dancing on my own for at least 5 minutes a day. TRUE STORY.

Laughter – nothing makes me happier than when I find a new comedian via youtube, and I sit there almost crying for about 5 minutes straight.

Nothing crazy. Nothing unattainable.

Most of it, free.Β 

I am going into this realistically. There are days I may not be able to do much on my list. I will forget and let go of those days.

Then there will be days that I smash it out of the park. Those are the days I will use as fuel to push me on and keep me going on my improvement pursuit.

Just tonight I sat down, for like 2 minutes because that is all I had, to do some yoga moves…

Baby girl found me.

And she saw the book I was working from, and wanted to do yoga too.

They actually do yoga in her class. I wish I was in prep again.

So I let her. Old me would have been slightly annoyed to have lost my ‘me time,’ but new SmikG said ‘let go’ and breathed in and out as deeply as I could.

Watching her do the ‘cat-cow’ as we both went on all fours, made me smile.

It threw me off my yoga focus… but I was laughing. Relaxed. Wasn’t that the point?

Yep. It sure is.