Lessons learned

I just completed a unit on Indigenous Education which has totally changed my viewpoint towards the importance of history. Viewing the suffering of the past on Indigenous tribes within Australia by the colonialists impacted my thoughts on white power and now white America, history is now repeating itself with this reign of racism by the orange man in power. One day we will look back on history and say WTH happened?

In my time in the US, my activist nature has been reignited and my thoughts on the future are away from here on a new adventure. Australia still has their fair share of idiots, so there is no escape. To cope with the madness in the daily news I have been very selective about what I read and focus on like minded peeps like folks at Penzeys Spices who have a lot to say about rights for all. In todays email I read:

At the heart of cooking is the belief that when we give of ourselves to help others the world becomes a better place. Through cooking we’ve come to understand the strength of kindness really can heal the world. The next great moment for kindness comes 11.6.18 on Election Day. Make your plan to vote, but please give thought to encouraging others to vote, too. You are a Cook, people look up to you. Your encouragement means everything. Let them know how important this election is. Help them put together the ingredients they need for a healthy and satisfying voting experience. You have the skills. You have the kindness. Please put them to good use. —Thanks!” (Penzeys Spices, 3rd Oct 2018)

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Getting rid of my spice collection

So what has inspired me to write about Penzeys and their amazing voice on activism is that I am clearing out my spice cupboard, the pic above is what is moving on. Thinking about spices and where they originate from is everywhere in the world and every day in the kitchen, we are creating multicultural links to the world. That is what makes me happy, the thoughts of going back to Australia and eating all the amazing cuisines that I miss especially Middle eastern food. Yeah, I get it in Sunnyvale but in my hood in Melbourne it is authentic.

Cleaning out my place and moving on is such a reflective experience where I feel I can look at many lessons learned from our time here. When I first moved here as a new mother I knew no one and over time and through community we now have friends and have met our people. It has been an interesting 12 years wavering from depression to joy – when I really could not wait to go back after 4 years but then we continued to stay as the kids were having an incredible school experience. I have enjoyed the journey of mother, wife, artist, business owner, volunteer and now a teacher in the time and it is now time to take my experience back home and share the basket of what my personal learning journey into another space in time. Growing up from the many experiences of the time here and moving home gives me a sense of peace – no more feeling angry and giving that privileged wanker in a BMW the finger anymore because I know our time is nearly done. And cheers to that!

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Celebration & good times

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Monday was my hubby’s birthday so I got rid of all the crap on the dining table and created this lovely posy of plants from the garden.

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This is one of my fave quiches to make for a special occasion – the Spinach Impossible Pie with crumbled feta, spinach, cheese and egg custard, made with a base from the pie book below so that was meatless Monday dinner.

I had to stop briefly in amongst my assessment writing over the weekend to get some celebrations happening for my hubby! I always love preparing a good feast for birthdays and the menu started on Sunday with a Strawberry Crumble pie – made from scratch with my kitchen helper Missy with a lemongrass cream, so divine!

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Heres the surprise birthday cake on a relaxed Sunday morning – well for some of us who did not have to get up early to make a birthday pie!

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This was hot out of the oven which is why there’s a piece of bread with candles to celebrate, it was super tasty and from my favourite pie book – A Year of PiesThe pie was meant to sit for an hour before we ate it but it was so good we tucked into it straight away!

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Oh, I always love a cocktail for a party so I made this watermelon fennel cocktail, it went down so well – the kids loved the juice, hehehe they had no idea about the fennel.

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This has been my number 1 drink for focusing, a nice cup of Matcha tea – discovered in Queensland with my sister. This is a coconut matcha which is probably way high in fat but if you are into Paleo this is the biz for you.

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The countdown has begun and as of tomorrow, I have 3 months left in the United States. I am getting rid of so much stuff and giving it away to neighbours who I don’t even know which is excellent as they are going to people who are happy to enjoy it. The shelves are emptying when I get need a brain break from study. My sewing and study room is slowly getting rid of fabric – I have a couple of projects before I put the machine and fabric away for the year. Our bedroom is getting rid of pictures and excess clothes – I still need to work on that space! The kid’s room is slowly getting there – though I have a plan to get rid of more stuff! The lounge needs to get rid of furniture but that will come later before we sell up and go. A plan is really starting to develop and I scored a great flight with taking myself and the kids back in December and my hubby will come for a trip in 2019 and then sell this place and come back for good.

So much stuff to do after living here for 12 years and it is strange to finally say I am going home to Melbourne FOR GOOD! It is so exciting as I am happy and things are falling into place. I have the kids enrolled in schools that I really like, one in primary and one in high school. The house remodel is still moving along and scheduled to start as planned. Once everything is a little settled maybe I could do a practicum for University at a primary school, it may have to wait another year until we have our house. I am so happy to be going back and finally be at home with my family and friends, the future is looking bright again!

 

What am I going to miss?

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These kiddos really enjoy our friendship with our friends who are have been our family over here. We have known each other since Ashwin was a baby and the kids met at a local music class – so we have known each other for over 11 years, which is most of the time we have been here. Coming here and not knowing anyone, it was so good to find my peeps, friends who understand you with so many things in common.

We have been having fun times together even when our friends moved to the East Bay, so every month or so we meet at Half Moon Bay and today we hung out at the beach and enjoyed Japanese for lunch. I will miss our good times together catching up and I felt so sad when I shared the news of us leaving today with our friends. Over the years we have had some epic camp trips together, all over California with so many excellent memories.

Our chickens are so sweet and we are going to have to give these ladies up for adoption at the 4H ranch come January. They just make me so happy with their little personalities. Hopefully, we can get some of our own when our house is done in Melbourne.

It really is a bittersweet decision to go back home and there are some friends that I will really miss so I will have the hope that our friends can come and visit us down under. We have met some beautiful people here and the feeling of this part of our life coming to an end is upsetting but it is opening up the next chapter of our lives back home in Australia. We have been very lucky to live here and create so many beautiful memories with some very special peeps! x

Oh and I feel this is what we should all watch, this Prince Ea is amazing – it really makes you think about all you are.

Minimalist living

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OK, nothing much happened last week as I was writing an essay and drinking lots of tea to complete it. The essay was about Indigenous Australians and their contributions to society which was fascinating as I focussed on Stephen Page the Artistic Director of Bangarra Dance Theatre. While I was writing Bangarra had just premiered their new show which a friend of mine got to see in Canberra and she loved it! I miss those days of watching the arts freely and seeing Bangarra and spending time with arts at the theatre. Which leads me to some very exciting news!

We are leaving the USA in January 2019! We discussed the move with our family in Australia, between each other and decided it is time for the kids and myself to go back. The idea being the kids can start the Australian school year in our local school where our house is. And my hubby will live in two countries by travelling every 3 months. So there is a lot to do and organise in between studies. I understand my daughter will not graduate from our beloved elementary school which is sad but there are sacrifices we need to make to actually reach our goal of being back in Melbourne.

I was looking at the trip very reflectively when we were back in Australia and I just have to follow my heart. I felt when I was back home it was so grounding to be with family and friends who are like family and it made me feel so happy. Coming back to California was hard this time as I know this has been home for 12 years but it is time to go back to our roots and have the children experience life from a different perspective. The Bay Area is a place that will always hold terrific memories for me but now the time has come to say farewell.

Next job is to clean out the garage and get rid of stuff and then its back in the house to move along stuff that is ready to go as it is time to live a minimalist lifestyle. To be honest our house in Melbourne will not be housing the huge amount of stuff we have here, simply because we will not have a garage. Step 1 – Love it and let it go, time to go minimalist.