#506 Shopping with my girl no.5

A day of two sides, where one weight on the scale main support would dip perilously low, before the opposite weight took heed and balanced it out.

So to fuel today’s fire, first the following events:

  • nearly losing my voice in an effort to get baby girl out of the house
  • having to take a detour en route because a major road was closed
  • spending up to 30 minutes looking for shopping centre parking because school holidays… AND baby girl needed to go to the loo.

STRESSFUL.

But then the other weight chimed in.

  • baby girl choosing rice for lunch over a happy meal, and eating it gratefully (Parental win moment!)
  • whispering to me cheekily, 30 minutes after purchase of a new doll “one more toy, and finish, shhh!” (her cleverness makes me shake my head in ‘I can’t believe she’s ours’ moments)
  • and after she heard  a person walking past us say sorry to another, explaining to baby girl that sometimes people make mistakes and then have to say sorry, examples being people bumping into others, or stepping on someone’s foot – to which we had to step on each other’s feet, and bump into each other, as we walked through the centre, for example. Laughing and bonding along 🙂

It wasn’t a day of huge purchases – in fact I didn’t get what I wanted, so another shopping day will be on the cards this week – but there were a few things that we walked away happy with.

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‘We’ is a strong word. We all know ‘baby girl’ was the happy one. Well me too, when I see her so happy. From our friends at Tar-gé, baby, the gorgeous aqua jumper with pink heart and Ariel doll with layered outfits; and baby girl received a cute little muffin box from Muffin Break, containing two mini muffins, an apple juice, and then the kind gentleman there threw in some colouring pencils and a picture for her to draw with.

I am not in any way endorsed by the above two brands for my opinions, but if they ever wanna get me involved…

I AM HERE. Just sayin’.

😉

Yes, a day of two sides, but I will remember us bumping into each other while walking through the centre, more so than anything that may have tried to weigh me down otherwise. Glass half-full, like that.

 

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#459 Local help

Everywhere I turned, I seemed to run into them. People at the shops, bumping into their friends. Acquaintances. People from down the road. A local they hadn’t seen in a while.

Two women stood in front of the apples talking about how it was when they ‘showed’ so early for their second child. The grocer guy sang out to his buddy stocking up corn, and they chatted loudly about people they knew from other stores.

Another older woman held her arms out in an embrace as she came across another woman, and then the woman being hugged pointed to a third woman and said “this used to be my neighbour.” I saw them picking out groceries together and helping the older woman later on.

Two old ladies stood at the entrance to the biscuit aisle, whispering lowly about God-knows-what, but their faces were so solemn I nearly hung out a second longer to catch a word or two about the latest scandal, I could only assume.

I felt a bit left out. I couldn’t just bump into someone I knew in our town. Not yet. I didn’t know anybody. Baby girl was slowly making friends at kinder – soon she would know people out and about. Hubbie was also now working locally, so he too was recognising faces here and there. I was still based out of town, WAY out of town for work, so I wasn’t really based in any such way in our new town, not yet.

Not yet. I told myself this. I told myself, as I smiled at the exchanges I came across, wishfully thinking that my time would come, and soon enough, I would be bumping into people, and saying “oh hey! How have you been?” Maybe I would talk about how the corn was in season. Or maybe I would indulge in some scandal/gossip or two.

Or maybe all of the above. If I was lucky.

And this I pondered, as I searched for fresh yeast.

It was becoming extremely difficult to find. Back where we used to live in the Northern suburbs, I knew exactly where to find, and where to go for the fiddly, specific, random items I sometimes required. Fortunately for me, where I used to buy yeast was just around the corner from me, at a continental deli in the large shopping centre in town. There were that many wogs, (ahem) Europeans there, of course they had fresh yeast for sale, frequently. It wasn’t odd to look for it.

Here however:

“No we don’t sell it,” said one gourmet deli cashier to me, as she genuinely looked quizzical, adding that she didn’t know where I could buy it while looking around to serve the next person and get rid of me.

“I don’t know where we get it from,” said the bakery lady who had walked out to place bread on the shelves in Woolies, implying that yes they had it, but no, they did not SELL IT.

Where was I going to get fresh yeast from? It almost seemed like I was asking for a Unicorn’s horn, or something. People looked at me like “Wowzee, geez, good luck.” I was making a bunch of bread-like cheese rolls for my parents’ upcoming anniversary, and I was going to make them tomorrow. So I needed to buy the yeast, NOW.

I decided nothing was lost by asking the cashier who had put through my items a previous time at Woolies. She seemed like a really lovely person. As she weighed my apples, I asked, “do you know where I could find fresh yeast around here?”

She thought for a moment, throwing a bit of a clueless look as so many before her had thrown when I had posed my question, and then turned to the Mum with two kids behind me who was placing her groceries on the conveyor belt, and without hesitating asked “where can you buy fresh yeast around here?”

They knew each other.

This Mum was lovely and started rattling off heaps of names. One on the Main street, and then the cashier jumped in and mentioned a grocery store in town.

“My Hubbie works there actually” I said. “I’m just waiting for him to get back to me on that.”

The Mum then remembered a gourmet/organic grocer that was a few shops down in the little centre we were in, and immediately I was like “of course!” How could I have forgotten that little unique and quirky-buys place?

I high-tailed it out of there after thanking them, and upon walking into the gourmet grocer, came across a very smiley lady at the counter.

“Do you sell fresh yeast?”

“You know who would know that? Our chef. And she so happens to be a few doors down. Follow me.”

And just like that, she left her post in the grocer store at the counter, and walked off, me following her with my trolley full of groceries, containing almost everything BUT fresh yeast. She kindly introduced me to the chef who was chatting with another shop owner, and then left to resume her post, while I asked wide-eyed “was there any fresh yeast around here?”

The chef, was super-friendly. She was surprised Woolies hadn’t just given me some, but said to try all the bakeries in the area… she mentioned the Baker’s Delight just several stores down, and Banjos on Main street, and then another fine foods deli off the Main street. She was so friendly and helpful, and placed confidence in me that I WOULD find it.

I still tentatively walked to Baker’s and when it was my turn to be served, asked all high-pitched “do you sell fresh yeast here?”

“Yeah” responded the cashier with no confusion or Unicorn horn- questioned look.

Finally!

And so, I got my damn fresh yeast. The locals had been lovely, and gone out of their way to help me, just as you would expect in a village-type seaside town.

And just as I had been wondering how long it would talk to get it, the fresh yeast came across my path quite suddenly, as it had been there in front of me, all along…

And I realised that like the yeast rising, hopefully so too would my ‘locals’ friend list also go up… much sooner than I expected.

 

#376 Observation while packing a bag of potatoes…

If anyone can find the above title anywhere on the world wide web, well I’ll… I’ll eat a whole bag of potatoes.

When an older woman, or one that has long-since passed the toddler stage, says that a moment I’m sharing with baby girl, that is oblivious to me, is actually a lovely moment, I take note. I just know, automatically, without doubt, SHE IS RIGHT. I don’t question her one bit. I stopped that, a long time ago.

Today a woman noticed I was having a sweet moment with baby girl.

To me, it was just a normal moment.

I was grocery shopping with baby girl. Often, she likes to help pack the plastic bags with whatever fruit/vegetable we need. We had already put about 8 apples in one bag; now we were on to the potatoes.

I took the bag, holding it open, and passed her a potato of my choice from the high display, to her hand below.

“Here you go.”

She took the potato from my hand and plopped it in the bag.

“Here’s another one.”

Again, she took the potato from my hand, adding this one to the bag.

This continued until we had about 7 potatoes. I lay the bag in the trolley as I tied it up, looking up to see a woman standing by, waiting to access the area I was blocking off.

“Sorry!” I said, moving forward and pushing the trolley onwards.

“That’s ok,” she replied with a smile. “It’s actually quite nice to watch.”

She nodded towards baby girl, and I smiled.

“Thank you, that’s very sweet of you.”

I moved off, feeling proud as punch. What an awesome Mum I was.

She was also there when a moment later baby girl had a hissy fit because I placed her kinder surprise incorrectly in the trolley: it was a millimetre away from the bag of capsicums, instead of being directly aside the bag of capsicums.

Sorry baby girl, I was a whole millimetre off.

😉

So today, a woman noticed I was having a sweet moment with baby girl.

To me, it was just a normal moment.

But from now on, I will never pack potatoes the same way again.

Gratitude in my heart, always 🙂

 

 

 

#369 Mr Penn

This gratitude thread holds a fair bit of bitter-sweetness.

Let me introduce you to someone.

Mr Judda-Penn.

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He is our Indian Ringneck Parrot. I say Mr, for frivolities sake, but am slightly disappointed that he never took to the Penn name we tried to re-Christen him with when we obtained him from Hubbie’s relos. He would only respond to the name he had known with his previous owners, which was Juddy.

Hence, his hyphenated name was born. I couldn’t let go of the Penn, even if he never squawked back at me when I used it.

He… was our Indian Ringneck Parrot. I hope I can use ‘is’ again, but Hope is not only a survival technique, but a dangerous one at that. I want to Hope, but I am also scared to practice it too much.

We had him for 4ish months. And I didn’t realise how much he was a distinct presence in our home, until today. I didn’t realise how much he amused me. I didn’t realise, that part of me would miss how he would aggressively jump up near his food bowls as I tried to change his seed and water. I didn’t realise that the removal of his 4pm calls would create a silence that was cold. And I didn’t realise that when I found his cage empty this morning, that I would also feel subsequently empty, and a strong desire to move the cage elsewhere so it didn’t remind me that he was not around anymore.

He escaped, sometime this morning. He is a clever bird, and a cheeky one at that – something we are also missing. Hubbie feels betrayed. We fed him, gave him a home, gave him water baths on hot days, and played with him. Even our family and friends were beginning to get to know him. We really enjoyed having him around.

I don’t know what the next chapter in this story will be, but now that he is gone, I realise that I am grateful for his presence in our lives. He was in it for only a little while, but he made an impact. After all, he transitioned in an important part of our lives, with our Sea change.

I am also grateful to the people on the facebook community groups, those from Mornington and the surrounds, who have been sharing my lost bird posts. Even though I don’t know these people, I am amazed at the willingness of people to spread the word of our lost bird, in the chance that someone sees him on a nearby fence, bathing in a bird bath, or pecking away at fruits on a tree.

As I gazed at this view earlier tonight, I wondered, where would Judda-Penn sleep tonight? Would he have adequate shelter? Would he be safe? These thoughts made me sad.

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Goodnight Judda-Penn.

*If anyone reading this is from the Mornington area or surrounds, and comes across a bird looking like this – PLEASE contact me. Baby girl would like to blow him kisses again XOXO*

#330 Blended Beard, & Boats

Have you ever had that moment, where you feel you are truly being appreciated? Where you are genuinely welcomed and made to feel special? Where someone is nice to you and you think ‘yes, this is what humans are meant to do for one another?’

Also, are you a caffeine addict?

And imagine now coffee lover… if a café gave you the above warm welcome when you walked through its doors?

???

My mind is still being blown from my morning coffee walk at work today. I walked into Blended Beard, listed as being my 2nd, almost equal 1st, café to coffee at in Docklands, which you can read about in my review of Docklands cafes here.

Anyway, this place has always been amazing. I’ve always preferred Story’s coffee down at the concourse, ever so slightly to theirs, but in the service department, the Bearded guys win, HANDS DOWN. They are always so friendly, lovely, warm and welcoming, and today’s experience just needed a mention in this blog, that’s how much it pleasantly surprised me.

So we enter, work mate and I. Greetings from the coffee making counter, lovely hellos, “Welcome guys,” and all that jazz. Like we’ve been away on holiday, and they’ve missed us majorly (well, we kind of have).

I then go up to order, and the girl behind the counter is the regular who takes the coffee orders most times I’m there. I say with a smile

“Hi, can I get a large cap with 1 sugar?”

And she’s looking at me with the slightest hint of a smile, but there is something more there, something I can’t quite detect yet. Slight squinting of the eyes, firm look of concentration, she takes a coffee cup and starts to write on it with no hesitation from the moment I’ve spoken.

“SmikG.” It’s more a statement than a question.

I nod and go to hand over my coffee card so she can stamp it, suddenly aware that she hasn’t yet seen the name on the coffee card… so how did she remember my name, when I haven’t been there in weeks, and I might frequent the cafe only once a week?

I walk away in slight shock and awe, and wait ’til my colleague orders his cap before I converse excitedly.

“How did she know my name?”

“Maybe she saw your pass.”

I look down. My name tag is swaying above my hips. She couldn’t have seen it, not from the large cash register that had been in between us and obstructing our bottom-half view from one another. No way.

“How did she do that?” I go on. “She must be one of those mind game people, you know they read you psychologically, maybe she’s like that with names.”

We soon get our coffees and leave to more lovely well wishes and sweet goodbyes. I am actually really appreciative that not only are they so amazing and friendly, their coffee is great, but also the coffee order gal tries her damn hardest to remember everyone’s name, and she somehow remembered mine!

I am still in awe. This from a girl who is shocking with names. Really. She is my hero.

Then we slowed the pace because it was a gloriously sunny morning, and watched some rowers and boats along the water, wishing we too were boarding the grand old thing with the pensioners. Oh well, one day.

To Blended Beard, and Boats. And name remember-ers. I salute you.

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#272 Random $2 kindness at shops

Baby girl was the recipient of a very little, yet very significant act of kindess today. I immediately saw the “pay it forward” in the action and thanked the lady, even though it wasn’t directed at me… but kind of, it was, because I am baby girl’s Mum.

I had just popped a dollar into a trolley while baby girl had run to a nearby shopping centre amusement ride, this one a pirate ship. I knew it would be hard to tear her away – she loves these rides, and being a pirate ship, when it is her current obsession what with her love of Captain Feathersword, it was to be almost impossible. Not only did I have a bit of shopping to do, but I had put my last gold coin into the trolley. As I tried to explain this logic to baby girl (always to no avail but I still try) she just sat there pressing the buttons in front of her, while two women walked to the neighbouring ‘Claw game’ (you know the game where you try to manoeuvre the claw to pick up a stuffed toy or lolly?)

One of the women looked over as I tried to convince baby girl to leave, and then holding out a $2 coin, she said “do you mind?”

She popped the coin into the Pirate ride. I was surprised and gave a combination of “really?” and “wow thanks,” before encouraging baby girl to say “ta” too, which she did before eagerly turning back to her ride.

The woman walked off seconds later with her partner who was done with the claw game, saying “enjoy your day!” while I reciprocated and gave many more thanks. I saw what she had done, and she had done it well, the proper way: without hesitation, without expectation of anything in return, and with happiness. Baby girl was temporarily appreciative while on the ride, while my appreciation has lengthened and deepened over the course of the day, with acknowledgment that this is what I used to do on occasion, this is what I NEED to do again, and this is what the world needs more of.

I will definitely pay it forward, in more ways than one. Thank you kind lady 🙂

#268 Kind lady advice at Aldi

Advice and Aldi seem to come hand in hand. I came across it today after I had been on the Main street with baby girl, and had received two unpleasant looks from an older man when she had been shrieking at a nearby fly.

She hates bugs. She is my daughter, after all.

She was waving around the Hula Hoop I had just bought her, pretending to hula it on her arm, and showing me how she was going to do it from her leg – I kept reigning her in, pushing my trolley onwards, looking back at her, and trying to work out if I was going to buy any brie from there.

Standing in the cold aisle, I once again pulled her in closer to me as she waved the hoop around. A lady had been near me with her own trolley, and after I checked her for what seemed like the 5th time in a minute (“Be careful baby girl, you could hit someone”) this lady leaned forward and said

“Shhh.”

“She’s happy,” she continued to me, whispering. “Leave her.”

I really appreciated her understanding. I smiled and replied “I know, but there are some people…” I trailed off, thinking of the old man I’d just seen on the Main street, letting the woman fill in the blanks with her own scenario.

“I know,” she replied. “I’ve been there, done that. But just ignore them. Pretend you can’t see them.”

I laughed. This woman’s understanding was tops. She added that they’re only little for so long, and then as she moved past us, trying to get past a waving Hula-Hooped baby girl, she said “beep beep!”

Baby girl did a “beep beep!” back, and I was immediately grateful to this woman for her unnecessary, yet-so-longed for kindness, her understanding, and the fact that she verbalised it when I needed to hear it.

You know, it’s a really hard stage that I’m going through with baby girl. I write lovely and beautiful things about her, because that IS my gratitude blog… but simultaneously, post-moving house, and during these tumultuous 3 year-old days, I find myself getting upset and yelling every day. It’s tough. It’s trying. it’s challenging, and it’s emotional too. When I have people looking at me, and baby girl in disappointment, like the old codger on the Main street, I feel sad. It’s hard enough keeping baby girl in line, without the added looks from passers by. I feel like saying “what, were you a perfect child? Are her shrieks interrupting the frequency of your hearing aid? She has as much right to be here as you do… walk on.”

So when I come across someone who has a nice thing to say, who understands, and who is subsequently kind to baby girl… It really makes my day.

Thank you lady.