#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. 🀣🀣

#1961 Old is new again

I saw a lovely sight today. Something that brought me happy memories.

And the smell… gee, it transported me back to my childhood. I remember walking past it as a kid, and being hit hard by the smoke and mustiness of it all.

My parents old smokehouse.

Only it ain’t looking so old. It’s got a fresh lick of paint, a prime position in their yard, and it is in OPERATION.

It’s fascinating, how as kids all this homemade stuff isn’t fascinating to us.

Smoking meats, making sausages, home-made wine, other brews… πŸ€ͺπŸ˜‚

And yet as we hit adulthood, all of this stuff makes us happy! In my case, I will probably only try a tiny bit of smoked meat, but give me that sweet stuff before it turns into wine ANY day.

Most. Pronounced, M-O-SH-T.

Who knows? Maybe this new-found love for what is old-fashioned, natural and instinctive, will give rise to the next generation stepping up and taking a new interest in making these things…

Of course. It’s guaranteed. πŸ’–πŸ’–

#1903 Double the Easter fun

When you get married to someone, you inherit a lot.

You inherit them. Their family. Their values, interests, ambitions.

You also inherit, their traditions.

And when it comes to the holy days of the year, you inherit those too.

And if they happen to fall on a different day, well…

DOUBLE THE FUN.

Easter. Christmas.

We have Catholic Christmas. Orthodox Christmas.

Catholic Easter. And then Orthodox Easter.

Double the fun! Double the food! Double the chocolate, and presents, and memories, and good times…

And it suits me just fine that we have these different, but oh-so-similar backgrounds. That we can blend them together in our family, baby girl gets a cultural taste of both, and we can make all of this work, FOR ALL.

And on that note… Happy Orthodox Easter to anyone celebrating today. I am about to pop, and yet I am going to walk back to the kitchen now for more sweet bread, otherwise known as kozinjak…

Cultural differences are beautiful. πŸ’–πŸ’–

#1826 The V-Day tradition for all of us

I remember the days.

Oh, those good ol’ days. Where there was such hope for Valentine’s Day. So much promise.

That young girl, in love, looked forward to it EAGERLY, and had to organise a pressie for her fussier-than-normal then boyfriend, and she sure as hell expected a great one in return (yet she never would have admitted it out loud, SHHH).

Those days are LOOOOOONNNNGGGGGG gone.

Valentine’s Day is so much more fun and satisfying when you don’t expect ANYTHING. Like seriously, nothing.

Which is why when Hubbie got me flowers after finishing work yesterday, I was beyond chuffed.

Why yesterday, not today? Because he was coming from work, and they have the best flowers. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

It wasn’t just the red roses, or the chocolate heart though. What wins my heart every time, is when he does this:

He gets a little something for baby girl. 😍😍

A rose. A heart chocolate. By him showing her love and attention, it’ll hopefully set the bar for the type of man that she’ll expect later on in life…

Not someone who buys her gifts. Rather, someone who shows her love through action. Someone who shows respect, and love, and appreciation for who she is.

We stopped worrying about Valentine’s Day gifts a long time ago. And it’s certainly not for a lack of love.

I love him more today than I did when we first met, and yet all he gets from me is a card.

Rather, we go with the flow.

Feel like a big night? Sure, get some Moet.

Feel like going out for a meal? Let’s use the day as an excuse and go to our fave local.

Working on V-Day? Oh well, I’ll cook your fave steak.

Been a crap couple of weeks? Here’s some chocolate to cheer you.

You really shouldn’t pay heed to the expectations and commercialisation of the day… but if you want to go all out, then by all means take the horse by the reigns and GALLOP!

But if you don’t, that’s also perfectly fine. A loving relationship will likely have many more meaningful and sentimental days between the two people, that aren’t listed on the calendar.

So, just do what floats your boat.

Happy Valentine’s Day… or not.

#1776 Thank God It’s Christmas

“Oh, my love, we’ve had our share of tears

Oh, my friend, we’ve had our hopes and fears…”

Did you know Queen has a Christmas song? Actually, two that I know of. The one I’m referring to, the same title as my blog post, well I discovered it a few months ago.

But upon finding it to play, I struggled to get through it without tears in my eyes, as the lyrics hit me hard, having gone through some issues at the time.

This morning, I put it on repeat, several times.

“Oh, my friends, it’s been a long hard year

But now it’s Christmas

Yes it’s Christmas

Thank God it’s Christmas.”

Those were my sentiments exactly, and I went into Christmas at my parents house, shared with my sister and her family, feeling utterly grateful.

Snapshots of Christmas 2020.

You might notice a plate of lemons in there. Well you see, lemons are the right fruit to refer to with what I’m about to share, having played an important part of a moment I had today.

Not only was I grateful to be amongst family after a year like no other, where hardship and difficulty seemed to arrive at every opportunity, but it was a bittersweet Christmas in that it would be the last at my childhood home before my parents moved house.

It was a Christmas, like so many we’d had there before… full of love, happiness, laughter, and great memories. But every now and then, it hit me – CRAP, this was our last one there.

I was cutting up lemons for our evening prawn feast, when it struck me again.

Last Christmas here.

And suddenly, it was bittersweet. Much like the lemons. On their own they were hard to take, your face screwed up when you bit into it, they were so sour…

But in accompaniment, with something else, like prawns… with a martini… or with honey… somehow it tasted a lot better.

It was great, even desirable.

Much like this last Christmas.

It wasn’t the last, but it would be the last there.

I could take it though. I could take it, because I still took with me all the memories of being there, celebrating Christmas after Christmas with my family and friends, all throughout the years.

Most importantly, I was taking the most important thing with me.

My family.

As if on cue, INXS’s ‘Don’t Change’ came on the radio, and I had to smile.

If only there were no change. Things would be so easy, with everything staying the same, static, and with no room to move.

But that’s the point of life you see. To grow. To evolve.

There MUST be change.

So I took the lemons to the table, and we enjoyed them in the best prawn feast ever.

Merry Christmas. πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ’–πŸ€Ά

#1775 Same but different Christmas Eve

You wouldn’t have known from the day we had today, that the past year has been difficult.

I was baking, cooking, and blaring Christmas songs from the stereo like it was nobody’s business.

Baby girl and I painted our nails red and gold as we started watching the traditional Carols by Candlelight this evening.

We then drove to see some neighbourhood Christmas lights which were spectacular… but none were as sweet as those that shone from our front yard, from under the sparkling stars above.

The day had set on another Christmas Eve.

And it was busy. It was joyful. It was crazy happy. It was festive.

It was everything I had dreamed of it being, and yet it had been such a massive unknown months ago.

I AM SO GRATEFUL.

I know there are those who can’t have any semblance of a normal Christmas this year… and so I send a prayer to them.

I pray that they feel the love, warmth and goodwill coming from all corners of the globe, telling them to hang in there.

We are with you all in spirit.

Merry Christmas Eve.

#1760 Christmas cards and my girl

I started the task of writing out Christmas cards days ago… and though I got through most of them, it’s called a task, because it is one.

I have my list of people.

I write the cards.

Then I get all the addresses, and write them too.

Stamps, stickers are affixed.

Yes, it’s a task. It’s a process.

But it’s one that I LπŸ’–VE.

Yet, it still takes days. Today for example, I was primarily writing out the addresses.

Baby girl found me.

“I want to write a card!”

Of course. But I was prepared for it!

“Here.” I handed her a packet of mini Christmas cards. “Start writing to your classmates.”

And so she did. This packet of cards I bought at Target weeks ago, of about 40 mini cards in a packet, well they were all hers. She could write to whoever she wished, and I could rest easy in the knowledge that she was doing her own thing, while I did mine!

We got to work. I admired her process. Yes, turns out she has a process too!

She got her class photo out to keep track of the names.

She wrote the cards.

Then she checked she had written from “baby girl” on all of them. Adjusted accordingly.

Then she affixed Christmas stickers to the back to seal them.

Hmm. Apple, tree anyone?

🀣🍎🌳

It was a lovely thing to be doing alongside my girl… sharing the festive cheer with her, and sending out the Christmas love, side by side. πŸ’–πŸ’–

#1422 ‘Twas the ‘second’ night before Christmas…

What? She must have her dates wrong you say.

No siree.

It really is the night before Christmas… for those of Orthodox faith.

It’s an interesting thing to celebrate two Christmases throughout your life. It’s a privilege now awarded to baby girl as she joins in the doubled up of festivities.

Growing up, although the primary Christmas we celebrated was on the traditional Westernised date of December 25th, due to my Mum’s background and heritage we were always aware of at the very least, if we weren’t helping our relatives celebrate the Orthodox Christmas day of January 7th.

Seeing as Hubbie’s family is also of Orthodox faith, this acknowledgement and acceptance has grown and continued. All of my life, family and friends around me have celebrated this day… I have been to countless Christmas parties and participated in token Orthodox traditions, drank and ate and been merry on this holiest of days.

Which nationalities celebrate this day you might ask? Well there are Macedonians, Serbians, Polish, Russian, and Greek, to name a few…

I think it’s important to respect and value other traditions, even those that we may not be privy to or understand in the fullest.

Just as living in Australia, I believe that Australian customs should be respected and appreciated by all those who choose to call this country their home, so too do I believe the reverse should be norm: Aussies should respect the traditions and heritage of those with customs and holidays from far off our shores.

Including a different Christmas.

Sometimes I hear a bit of ignorance. One side might discount the other, calling theirs the ‘real Christmas.’

I think this is a bit sad. I don’t think we should be arguing over religion and politics and trying to up our own stance by discounting the other.

Why can’t we all respect each other’s traditions while still enjoying our own?

THIS GOES BOTH WAYS.

Baby girl went to bed tonight excited. She was asking if Santa would come again… I told her he only makes one stop a year, but that there would still be PRESENTS.

We did the majority of presents on the Westernised Christmas day, but I have an inkling she will get something. πŸ˜‰

A second Christmas for a kid? That’s like a second birthday!

She, and we, are fortunate to have double the Christmases, every year. β™₯

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

 

#1412 Made up stories in bed

The three of us have the best time making up stories at bedtime.

We’ll be in our bed, or baby girl’s bed (yes we can all squish into baby girl’s king single!)

We make up stories based off alterations of our name and things that have happened that day,Β or stories we’ve heard.

Tonight Hubbie was Tato Doce, and I was Mama Candy Cane.

Iggle piggle from In The Night Garden was drinking black coffee, and vomited, and there was a girl called Karisa who was going cray cray because it was school holidays. 🀣

The laughs we get out of our stories are priceless. Baby girl can barely get the words out as she tells her story, she is laughing that hard. Then I’ll throw her an exaggerated quizzical look, or I crack up and laugh along with her, which sends her into more of a laughing fit, and then I laugh MORE, and on and on it goes.

Meanwhile Hubbie, the only non-night owl amongst us three, looks at us wearily, yet still amused with that small smile on his face, as his girls go apeshit.

❀

 

 

 

#1406 The Christmas carols

My first intention for tonight was to head on down to the local carols in the park for some festive cheer and fun.

‘Twas not to be. Hubbie was tired from work and not ‘feeling it.’

We settled in for a night of carols on TV instead – if I couldn’t have them in person I had to have them someway, right?

“Don’t they do those on Christmas Eve?” Hubbie asked me.

Automatically I responded –

“Channel 7 do Carols in the Domain the Saturday before Christmas, in Sydney… Channel 9 do Carols by Candlelight on Christmas Eve from Melbourne.”

BAM! Just like that. All Christmas worded-up and everything.

Well I have been watching them all my life, I SHOULD KNOW.

Knowing the Wiggles were on in the first part of the night, we all sat down while baby girl asked repeatedly when they were going to be on.

She totally made up for it when they did arrive on screen, and she danced along to them while we watched her, revelling in her happiness and joy.

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There wasn’t a lot of quiet in our house tonight. We weren’t all seriously watching the carols and singing along with our flashlight features turned on on our phones… we were talking over one another, tuning in and out to songs on telly, singing along to some and talking about our goals for next year and just having the best time together.

We didn’t need no community park concert. We were all we needed.

And then I looked outside and – YES! – our new solar Christmas light was working!

It looked magical πŸ™‚

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My memories of Christmas carols stem way back. Growing up on Christmas Eve I’d sit in the lounge room with my Dad as they played, and Mum would come in and out, busy in her preparations for a big family Christmas lunch the next day. We would then wait up ’til midnight and exchange presents, wishing each other a Merry Christmas, and go to bed excited and buzzing that Christmas was finally here.

They are the best memories.

Well we made some of our own tonight. And though the night actually started out pretty average and flat… as soon as the carols started, something magical occurred in our lounge room.

It was, Christmas magic. β™₯