#468 Churchies give me coffee and a muffin

Ahhh. Hot, sweet, hot, sweet (did I say hot?) coffee, accompanied by a perfectly executed warm egg and bacon muffin.

I almost didn’t have this. If I didn’t act precautionary and stuff extra coins into my coffee purse (yes I have a coffee purse), I totally wouldn’t have had it AT ALL.

At the usual time this morning, I grabbed my work pass, my phone, and my coffee purse to head off on my coffee walk to get my Saturday morning coffee while at work. Having the scratchy and dry throat that has decided to reappear in my life for a few days now, and feeling also slightly sickly, I looked at the fruit waiting for me on my desk, and decided ‘this will not do.’

Sure, I would eat them today, at some point, eventually. But I needed something solid, something hearty, something to go fantastically with my morning coffee and help me get through the day and way into the night, as we were expecting visitors at our place later on. I threw in a couple more coins from my ‘regular’ purse, into my ‘coffee purse’ (I know, right?!) and with my bomber jacket headed on down the road through the chilly air.

The Asian lady greeted me warmly as I walked up to the counter, smiling happily. I like her. I like my Saturday morning coffee place. I hoped I would like her more in a few moments time.

“Hi,” I started. “I wanted something like a coffee – “

“Yes we have coffee!”

“- yes but, with something like toast? Like a coffee and toast deal?”

Not more than $6.50, not more than $6.50, I repeated in my head. In my quick skim through the contents of my coffee purse earlier, I thought I had that amount for sure, but any more, and I would have to check.

“We have a coffee and egg and bacon muffin for $7.50.”

Hmmm.

“Regular coffee?” I enquired.

“This one,” she pointed to the smallest size, not the medium size as I had anticipated. She repeated regular, and I got confused with the sizes as I started to count out my change.

“Let me check…”

It is usually the case that with coins, there is a tad more than what you initially see with your eyes.

4.50, 5, 6, 7… 7.50!

“7.50!” I said happily. “And for a medium?”

“This one” she again pointed to the small size, and my heart deflated a bit. “It’s a bit extra for medium…”

I started doubting whether I even wanted this egg and bacon muffin. I mean I did, but not enough to sacrifice the size of my coffee. I stared into my much lighter coffee purse, and observed 45 cents worth of coins.

Don’t say more than 45 cents, don’t say more than 45 cents…

“An extra 40 cents.”

!

With 5 cents in my purse to spare!

I emptied all the coins onto the counter like a girl who had just raided the church donation baskets, and minutes later, I was walking back to work very happy. And then at my desk, enjoying my hot coffee, and my warm muffin, I was immediately grateful for all my coins.

ALL THE COINS.

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Don’t throw away your churchies people. You never know when they will make your day.

#465 My special greeting no.2

I received the most golden of gold greetings today, and it came from none other than my shining light, my guiding star…

I was slowing down as I approached the house, being on the tail end of an hour long drive from work to home. As I started to turn into the driveway, I saw baby girl, jumping and scrambling up onto the brick pillar that contains the mailbox up front, trying to stand up – and then in pause, spotting my red car.

She stopped, her face serious, peering in. As I came closer I smiled at her, and her face went into a shocked frenzy, before breaking out into a full, whole face, smile. 🙂

“Ma! Ma!” she yelled with excited agitation, turning around to also call her Dad who was now walking up to her from the house.

As I brought the car to a stop, she jumped off the pillar and came around to my driver’s side, running into the door with a deliberate thud. I looked through the window to see her beaming at me.

Oh, my girl. All that, for me? She was that excited, to see me?

Heart melting.

Hubbie then added moments later, after repeated hugs and kisses and lots of laughter, that she had been calling out my name, and singing it out all day…

My sweet princess. My heart sings for you, too.

 

#458 Impromptu Pho

I was busy at home when Hubbie charged through the doors this morning, high on his new hair-cut and wanderings through our humble-yet-bustling town, and declared “we are going to About Thyme for lunch!”

Really, we should have gone out last night, instead of this morning as I hurriedly made sweet treats in preparation for my parents anniversary on the weekend, prior to my late starting work shift this afternoon. So what do you think I did?

Amidst rolling 50 cake balls for my cake pops, I rushed through the batch (with attention-to-detail, of course) got ‘properly’ dressed, before we ran out the door.

We hadn’t been there in quite a while. And I immediately knew what I was going to have on such a still, yet grey day.

Pho.

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I was looking forward to the prawns also listed on the ingredients menu, but alas, I think not in season. Never mind. It was still warming, and tasty, and when I popped in a sliced chilli piece into the broth, so, so, sooooo spicy.

It had me watering at the eyes and gasping for breath, and then Hubbie over-confidently declared he would finish my chillies for me…

30 seconds and 4 chillies later, and HE was gulping down water with watery eyes.

Advantage of almost over-combusting? The heat almost totally cleared up my stuffy nose and sore throat that has been just hanging around for almost a week. So BIG points there.

(Note to self: bite into hot chilli next time I am sick).

A quick bite to eat out, with my family, unexpectedly on a dreary Wednesday before work…. Un-Pho-gettable.

(Sorry, I had to).

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#441 No-work Monday

Tonight I am happy in the knowledge of anticipatory delight… .that is, I’m anticipating the delight of NO WORK tomorrow.

No work on Monday.

I know must of you are probably hating on me right now. But take comfort in the knowledge that while all of you were having a lovely Sunday sleep-in today, I was getting up after 5 hours of sleep, being under the weather, and then driving in to work, to spend the WHOLE day of daylight here.

Yay. Seriously yay. Because I still get tomorrow off.

(Tee hee hee).

And if that gratitude is lacking in your scale of awesome gratitude stuff (unless you hate working on Mondays, and in that case that is your pinnacle right there), I might just throw back another pic of yesterday, when I met David.

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Yep. I MET DAVID BOREANAZ. It may just have to become a theme or something. The ‘I Met David’ theme.

Still delirious… can you tell?!?!

#437 Petrol cashier’s kindness

 

My gratitude came to me today at the insanely early and God-forsaken hour of 5:45am.

Godly indeed. Blessings certainly came my way.

Are you one of those people, where upon waking up, sudden thoughts and ideas and reminders, just pop into your head?

Pop, pop, pop!

Well as I was getting dressed for work this morning, I realised astutely, and begrudgingly, that I was fairly sure I had to fill up the car with petrol.

Damn it. The cons of working so far from home. I knew the tank would take me there. But the one time I tried pouring petrol in the city before my trip home, I was stuck in further traffic for so long, that I swore I would NEVER do that again.

I would have to do it then. Now. 5:30am.

Which I’ve done heaps of times before. No biggie. My car dash confirmed what I dreaded as I got in – yep, need the juice. Off we go, driver.

Standing in the freezing cold, rain whipping about me despite the elevated shade, it didn’t occur to me. Then, as I finished filling up the tank, it still, didn’t occur to me. Then, getting my wallet out of my bag, still, it didn’t occur to me.

As I opened up my wallet to get my card out, to make my walk across the petrol station to its indoors, I stopped.

Shock. Horror.

My card wasn’t there.

And just like that pop!

Another memory. 15 MINUTES TOO LATE.

The night before I had swapped the money Hubbie had in his wallet to take with me to work, for car parking, and put my key card in his wallet, just because, in case. I knew he probably wouldn’t need it, but you know.

I was being nice.

I didn’t even have a credit card. He had that too.

(Face palm).

I went back to the car, and got my mobile too. I didn’t know what I would do, other than I think I needed all the back up and technological gadgets I could get, for some unknown reason.

As the man at the counter called out “number 6?” with a smile, I grimaced.

“Yes, but I don’t have my cards! I’ve left them at home, and…”

I started rattling off random things. Should I call my husband? Should I get him to drop off the card? Both ideas were inconvenient – if I went home I’d most likely have to leave my driver’s licence with him, and that was if the cashier let me drive home. The other option involved Hubbie having to take baby girl with him to the petrol station down the road, just so he could give her scatterbrained Mum a freaking card from his wallet that HE DIDN’T EVEN NEED THAT DAY.

I waved my phone about. “Can I somehow pay, with this?” I racked my brain, realising that I didn’t even think our credit card had a mobile app, and even so, I didn’t have the card number on me!

And then as I was rattling off things sporadically, I came to some kind of end result…

I showed him my bank app, and asked “Can I pay the business through my account?”

Well, it wasn’t the business account I paid. But the man had given me his personal account number, and I transferred the funds into that. He didn’t explain, but my perception was that he would fix up the till, from the money I had put in there.

He held up his phone when it was done, and said “it’s gone through” with a smile. I didn’t step forward to check, as there was a queue of people in front of him waiting to pay for their items the normal way. I just thanked him profusely and left quickly.

But I wondered. Should I have taken a photo of his phone’s image, ensuring I had proof I had in fact paid? Would he report me to the cops and keep my money for himself?

Would my writer’s mind just shut up???

It’s sad that as we get older, we are often told to watch our backs, be wary of other’s intentions, and make sure we are not taken advantage of. I reminded myself of the facts – I had needed his help, and he had come through for me, going out of his personal way to do so.

And then, I said “breathe SmikG. This dude saved your arse.”

So, at 5:45am, I was grateful to the petrol guy. I think that station has gained a constant income from our family, from now until FOREVER.

#435 New library

I think, when we collectively call ourselves avid readers and writers, surely then we must be a member of more than a few reading institutions?

The first library membership I got was when I was about 10, and that was a school incentive since they had built a local library in our suburb, up in the North.

I loved it, and thrived on my library membership, for ages. I would bring home the maximum amount (back then 10 books only) of Goosebumps, The Babysitters Club, and then Sweet Valley High series books, up until my mid-teens. This phase lasted long, and had me happily perusing through the library shelves for years on end, maybe until I was 15 or so.

Then boys kind of became more prominent. I would still visit, but much more infrequently, and later in Uni days, a lot of material from my essays would come from those aisles. I would walk up and down, and reminisce about the good old days, where I could read 10 books well within a few weeks time, and come back to borrow more earlier than I needed to, thirsty for more.

Fast forward many, many years, and a brand-spanking new library opened near my work. It is a work of art, and it is my belief even a non-reader would find interest, solace, and a renewed sense of appreciation for the written word, in here.

Of course, I became a member. I borrowed a few books, and then when I realised that reading, taking notes, and then reviewing the book within a few weeks span became a bit too much to take on, I kind of stopped borrowing from there.

It’s temporary, and it’s only because I’m awaiting the day I can devote much more time to fiction books.

However, today baby girl and I ventured to our new, local library. The first time we went there was right after we moved, and so I didn’t have the proper I.D. with my new home address to subscribe. Today however, different story.

At the Mornington library, I am told I can borrow unlimited books at any one time. Woah. Up to 10 DVDs, and there’s a bunch of other benefits of becoming a member too. Baby girl enjoyed the kids nook, sat in a reading booth, and I just happened across (this stuff seriously jumps out in front of me) a couple of books that I just HAD to borrow.

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You can totally tell which are for me, and which are for baby girl, right? I mean, I’ve been hanging to read Dr Seuss’ take on fish for yonks now.

😉

Seriously though. Am I the only writer that has tonnes to read and write, a whole book shelf at home just crying out to me “read me! read me!” and yet I still go out and borrow/buy MORE books?

I think the novelty of the library, is the fact that if you do not read a book in your borrowed time span, not to fear – just re-borrow, or read it at a later stage. There is no commitments, and I think in my case, for now, with so much fiction for me at home just STARING at me whenever I go past my shelves, I can happily borrow reference books and the like, and then pick what content will serve me best from within its pages.

And while there, I registered baby girl for the ‘1000 books before school’ challenge, where she will aim to read up to 1000 books, and track her progress on a chart with stickers, with little incentives as she hits big milestones along the way. This number can include any books read at home or school or her grandparents house, and even the re-reading of favourite books. They can all be counted, starting from today. If you’re interested in doing so for your littlies, I understand many libraries are partaking in the challenge.

The end of the challenge is either the commencement of school, or when she hits 1000.

Do you seriously think I will let baby girl, the daughter of a writer, not get to 1000 books within these two years?

To answer your question… she already has 4 stickers today.

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God Bless the Library.

#434 A new weekend ‘drop’

This was me an hour or so ago, walking back to work with a coffee from a place I’ve been recently going to.

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I don’t go there when I work weekdays. This is my Sunday café go-to for caffeine fix, since my usual destination is closed on the weekends. I’ve been pleasantly surprised, and find this café is far superior to another rival weekend café, that is both closer yet more expensive than this current one.

So, I’m walking 5 more minutes, for 15 cents cheaper coffee. Also, I don’t have to worry about that initial bitter taste, or arrogance upon ordering at the old place. That all adds up fellow coffee snobs, doesn’t it?

And then there were the people. So many people were out and about on yet another spectacularly still and sunny Autumn’s day. Footy jerseys were out, boys sitting atop their Dad’s shoulders on the way to the stadium, and groups of people getting off buses in order to enjoy the weekend celebrations in whichever fine way they wished to.

And I thought to myself, ‘when will Hubbie and baby girl and I be able to enjoy the entire weekend off, on a regular basis?’

When will weekend (the WHOLE weekend) family time be a given, a normal thing?

I think when that happens, I will know, I’ve had made it 🙂 I’m looking forward to that day…

But until then, I will work when I have to, and take pleasure in seeing the smiles on other happy families as they venture about, as I walk back to work, sipping on my hot coffee…