We only took off from the city for a couple of nights but we felt the recharge from the sea. Just having time to wander the beach aimlessly and not watching the time, away from our computers and our day-to-day! This was our time at Phillip Island. We stayed with our friends at their holiday accommodation at Cape Woolamai. This was the summer and we are in beanies and scarves on the beach. Back at the pool, we went for a swim, just because it was sunny, and to try out the lovely pool.
The beach was pristine with just one piece of rubbish that I picked up and took away. Spending an afternoon wandering the rock pools looking at sea anemones and wonderful-looking seaweed jewels was all I needed while we were there. When we were on our walk back to the house, we admired the gorgeous holiday houses people have built and imagined buying a property there. We did see some land which was $1.1M and then there is the house to build overlooking the Pacific. We can only dream!!
While we were there we organised meals together for the 7 of us with a Mexican feast one night where I made a lovely slaw with coriander and ordered some corn tacos from El Cielo with refried beans (tinned), pulled pork, BBQ chicken, and a guac made by H. She makes the best guacamole as she got plenty of practice in California. We all had an incredible feast together and relaxed in the evening squished together on the couch.
For our barbeque night, we had the tastiest barbequed corn with miso. I enjoyed researching that recipe as it was a riff on Mexican street corn which we saw at a restaurant the week before. I had some miso made by Cooking with Koji from the farmer’s market given to me for Chrissy and H finely grated the smoked cheddar from King Island, Tassie, and we topped it off with smoked paprika, fresh lime, and basil – it was so delicious! The picture is above – that was my attempt at barbequing on a big American BBQ – it was so fun to hear the corn kernels popping.
Look closely at the red rocks and you will see a little mountain goat – that is @fimbus_ AKA my son climbing up the rocks as he enjoys heights. I told him I would take him to North Walls to go vertical climbing – but he said no! He got to the top disappeared for a while and came down shortly after he traveled a path inland. He likes to draw Hilda fanart so check out his sand art at the beach. Later on, I did show him the sign that said unstable cliffs and we had a talk about erosion, so he understood his actions. It was the best time and I was sad to come back home but we were happy to have a lovely experience of just chilling with our friends from NZ.
Looking forward to the year ahead so I can plan more adventures and time for relaxation.
After seeing the Rone exhibition last weekend we went to a shop called Mixed Business full of Melbourne-made products. I went into the city not wanting to shop but there was something at the back of my mind that my friend made for me last year and that is perfume made from essential oils. I found some at that shop and I knew it was right, it is Protect by Kindred Temple. The universe gave me many challenges last year and most of them were caused by forces out of my control by people not intentionally wanting to cause harm but did have very dramatic consequences. This year I am wanting to get back to my earth mother self and a way I can do that is through daily affirmations. I looked the body mist up on their website and the above affirmation really resonated with me. Initially, I purchased the body mist spray for the benefit of protecting myself from negative energies but this will help me with more than that and what I am truly focussing on is releasing all that no longer serves me.
This weekend marked one year after H’s accident with a campfire. We went out with friends together as a family and enjoyed a game of bowling and ate some delicious Mexican food at Benzina Cantina, of course with some margaritas! I feel we needed to do something together to honour the ordeal our family has been through. Also, I am truly thankful that H has come out the other side one strong young woman. She still has plenty more healing on her skin with CO2 laser treatments in the near future to help with the appearance of the scars – fingers crossed that this will happen soon. This week H wanted to do some volunteer work, so I asked my local bulk goods supplier if they were keen on supporting a 14-year-old and they said yes! Off she went for her first 2-hour shift which is something she will continue each week to get out and about within the community. I am so happy for her that she is slowly expanding her confidence out in public.
So to manifest peace in my life, I am going to protect myself. So for extra protection, I have bought myself some black tourmaline from Byron Bay to wear daily so I can tap into ways to keep away negative forces. For the next couple of weeks, it is all about meditation, daily exercise, eating well, tonic mushroom smoothies and tea, studying, creating, gardening, and tv/movies, and eventually, I will be back at work.
There is so much that I would like to manifest this year and I am beginning with something close to my heart and soul. It is something that keeps me going in so many ways. The pics above are things that keep me occupied within my house – cooking, my plants inside, and the garden outside. Cooking requires that I will be very organised and have the ingredients to cook a delicious meal. A big shout out to Ceres Fair food and Local Organic delivery for making that happen! My garden is pretty random and this year I had more plans but it is tricky with the weather being all over the place – there have been a few deaths of plants. One thing I do love growing is tomatoes so I have a couple of plants that need some hot days for them to fruit! At least my indoor plants have had some well-deserved TLC with fertiliser and watering and now they are all a lot happier. I touch the leaves of them to see if they have much energy and then I know it is time for a big drink. With cooking, I would like to branch out a bit more with recipes and try newer flavours and tonight I am making a vegan peach tart with a basil walnut pesto – so good and so full of sugar, I think it will be my morning tea to get me going tomorrow!
Today it was a family day out and we went into the city to see the Rone exhibition at Flinders Street station called Time. I just loved being taken in time to an era where life was way more industrialised in everything. I really loved the first room I wandered into and it was a room full of industrial sewing machines with clothing ready for production. The uniforms that were hung up, had Rones Nans’ name Elanor on the tags as she was a seamstress (one of the docents gave me this intel!). What I love about the Rone exhibitions are the details in each and every room, right down to the spiderwebs intricately woven by a phantom spider.
In every room there was a story and the switchboard room was something I had to explain to my 17-year-old son, he was saying how did I know what they were? I said to him, it was from watching old films not from working on a switchboard – I am not that old! The music in every space added an extra dimension with the ambiance of the lighting as well which would sometimes flicker and dim. The whole experience felt like everything was stopped in time and whoever was within the space had just disappeared into the ether leaving behind something that had been forgotten. I even found a jar that my mum has and just like hers, it was covered in dust! The family wandered through quite fast but I like to take it slow and find interesting bits and pieces that resonate with me. The portraits added personality to the space to take you somewhere within your own imagination of what it might have been like to be in that space in time. What I loved to see is how the space was curated with so many vintage and historical pieces – where did they come from? Even the windows were covered with old newspapers and the cloakroom was left with beautiful vintage clothes.
For lunch, we went to Metro burgers as the whole family is pretty keen on finding excellent burgers. There was a lovely Japanese chef on the grill making some flavourful combinations of burgers. I was very impressed with the truffle portobello burger with a super fresh salad and avocado on a deliciously soft bun. My hubby had the lamb, my son had the meat, and my daughter enjoyed a bright and colourful halloumi salad. This is what I love about going out to eat and finding places that inspire your cooking at home. We were too hungry to take food photos so here is a beautiful sign I would love to live by evevry day (check sp. above)!
So I am beginning to manifest some creativity in my life and clear out cobwebs of my own by getting the work done for university and bringing out my sewing machine.
Slowly slowly were the best words I heard this year as it has helped me on my journey this year. Reflecting on the madness that occurred over the last 12 months and I am still here and have the coherence to talk about it. So much shit was thrown at our family this year and we have made it out way stronger and more in force than ever before. I worked on my 2022 calendar on new years eve and my heart was shattered into a million pieces looking at my child and what she endured for the first 3 months of this year. I am in awe that she has come out way stronger than before and she has been broken too into a million pieces where each day she is slowly picking them up and we are there to support her. Her counselor is incredible and I am grateful that people appear in your life just when you need them. We still have a journey ahead of us but we will get there. She also has some wonderful friends who will stand by her for the rest of her life.
This is our neighborhood in a jigsaw puzzle that my hubby got for Xmas, it is beautiful to see all the amazing places we have surrounding us. I think we were lucky to have bought our house 17 years ago and live in a neighborhood that is so multicultural. That is a path I am wanting to explore more with my work and meeting the little people and families that live here.
Going back to my calendar project we dusted ourselves off and ran with the rest of the year as I was thinking that it was such a slow horrible start and then it flew by. We had my sister visit from Queensland which made the time extra special. For my birthday month, I loved seeing Hamilton and eating out at Daughter in Law with my good friends. In May it was time out at Healesville to see beautiful animals after COVID hit a couple of family members. In June it was winter time and we were then brave enough to go out into the cold and experience music and art again. Our family holiday by the beach was full of memories of nature and relaxation. I also had a good friend who loves to go out exploring art galleries and visiting the University of Melbourne and through these times we chatted and enjoyed the time away from our day-to-day. Before my placement, we enjoyed an evening at Heide seeing Bruce Munro under the darkness of the stars. During placement there were other family stresses that impacted me more than I could process but I had the support of an incredible mentor teacher to get me through. The tragedy that hit our family are details that I keep close to my family and close friends and again these things that happened to us were caused by other people who I do not even care about (arsehole is the only word I have for them).
Finally, in the last 3 months of the year, things were picking up and I went to see my family in Queensland it was so good to see everyone again and reconnect after two very long years! Ms H became an ambassador for the RCH Christmas campaign and we had a film and photo crew in our house. Inspiration came in October when I could wander art studios and see what is being created close by. My son spent a very long time making his own Halloween costume and here I saw the grit that he has when he was failing his craft experiments but still persisting towards a costume of no-face from the Miyazaki films. November was the time when we had the bees take over our roof cavity and that is A-OK with me as they are the best and I love seeing them out and about every day. My parsley has gone to seed and now I have dill and they are loving it – so thank you bees, having you in our life has shown me that it is important to stay busy and take care of the garden. At the Science Gallery, an exhibit of an egg shared with me the population of the world of an inconceivable 8 billion people sharing this incredible planet earth. It made me realise how finite our resources are and that we need to do whatever is in our power to vote for our future.
When the RCH Christmas campaign came out I saw the strength my little butterfly had as she metamorphosed through the harm thrown at her. I need to mention that the accident happened due to the father she was camping with put alcohol on the campfire. He did not even clear the fire when he did it and H was there innocently with a stick roasting a marshmallow. He mentioned it the night of the accident but all I could care about was my little girl – was she OK and I needed to talk to her. I did not have the energy to mention this when H was in the hospital but now I cannot hide it any longer. It is something everyone needs to know and I have expressed to him the stupidity of the act. My daughter now has had to endure full surface burns and scarring for the rest of her life because someone was being careless. Oh, and his reason for doing it was because the wood was wet and he wanted to make the fire bigger – WTF?!?
We made it to the end of 2023 and can smile with love in our hearts because it is the people who show up for you in your darkest hour are the ones who help you get through – you know who you are and I appreciate each and every one of you. Life has been such a struggle this year and I am grateful for the beautiful people that surround us, so thank you 🙏
Here is something that I found on a friend’s FB page and it resonated with the way I am feeling after such an intense year. I am definitely feeling restful at the moment. I am truly grateful for the amazing people I have in my life who helped me move along this year when the shittiest of things happened to our family. I really do not know how I could have made it through to the other side but here we are. Life goes on and in a year’s time we will see the progress of H’s healing and be thankful we have had a team of amazing people by our side. It will be a month since the accident on January 14, 2023, so we will be grateful that our daughter is still with us and provide us with the teenage grief that keeps us going! She truly is our light out of the darkness.
And this is where the magic happens, for sure, inside this peaceful place we call home. Apricot is living life enjoying her time stretching out in the sun. I have university work to do but I do need a break from everything and time to catch up on fun stuff. I scored a bunch of free frames from hard rubbish so I have been creating little projects for my walls and preparing myself for 2023. I just want 2022 to be over and behind us and it will be time to make some magic happen in 2023 and think that I deserve what I desire.
We all still managed to smile for our Christmas picture near our super cool fibre optic tree. It was a hot day for Christmas and we enjoyed ourselves with the family eating and drinking and staying cool with many dogs at my sister in laws place. My friend gave me a teatowel that said, “it is about who you are with at Christmas – not what is under your tree” and it was so true. Even though I did not feel the holiday spirit this year, I managed to have a great time with our little family and create some special memories of summer and Christmas 2022. Apricot is not too keen on her present from Santa but she was with us and got lots of pats, so that is pretty special! I just need to be mindful of all of this.
My last week of work was a celebration including checking out creatures in the garden, face painting, and nature play. A culmination of all my favourite things in teaching!
It was a tiring week but it created many valuable memories for the children. I went out for my last day as Activity Group Leader to the nature play program with 3 educators and 3 parent volunteers and 22 children. The night before I did feel some anxiety due to last-minute cancellations but then on the day I thought we can do it and we did. The team of educators knew what we were doing and of course, there is always the random chaos that happens when working with children and we did it as you just go with the flow! It was a success the children enjoyed themselves out in the sunshine for a good couple of hours and we walked back together to a mission of popcorn and chill-out time with a movie as a reward for all of us! It is always beneficial to have parent helpers and I have learned over time as one myself that they need to have some direction in helping out the children. They were amazing and if it was not for the many hours that I have spent as a parent helper it would not be as fun for them.
I am so glad that I had the opportunity to teach the 3-year-old children for the last term as it gave me some sort of feeling that I have the ability to have small successes. It is important to have some beginning and I am thankful that I have had this time.
We also had our work part on Wednesday night which was a lot of fun with the magician Tim Ellis who bought some well-needed magic into our lives!
And to round out the week on Friday I did a celebratory dance with my teammates at work and we all enjoyed a cupcake and chatted about the good and bad times over the term!
On the weekend I went out with my hubby and good friend to have some tasty vegan food at Lona Misa in South Yarra. Here is a vegan tamale and the cocktails really wiped my brain in a good way. The Rinquinquin in my negroni turned out to be a peach liqueur and I only chose that drink because the ingredients rhymed plus I had read about aperitifs the night before. We enjoyed our feast and wine but unfortunately, we had a booth of obnoxious loud people behind us so we had to scream to talk to each other which was not very enjoyable.
My weekend was complete with a trip to the local Christmas market at a favourite new place mycelium studios with my good friend B. I met some wonderful makers and even saw a friend who I work with on my sustainability projects. She had designed some gorgeous teatowels with birds of Merri creek. I love random acts of connection and it is good to have that feeling again and find my people.
I also had my last ceramics class where I glazed my pieces – closing out the year with creativity and magic, I am looking forward to what they look like when they come out of the kiln. The person I lost inside myself this year is slowly coming back and it is a good feeling.
This has been my life this year – floor popcorn! It is a metaphor for bits of stuff happening all the time where each week I could be facing a physical or mental challenge regarding myself or my family. Still, I was at my happy place on Friday night watching ‘Triangle of Sadness’ with popcorn and a Campari and my husband! Such a great film taking the piss out of the “rich and powerful” and well worth checking out.
Saturday was my kinesiology appointment and I was very much out of sync with everything in life so I got myself a tune-up to get back on track again. I need to be working on manifesting that “I am enough, I am worthy and valuable”, “What I have to offer is valuable” and “I deserve what I desire”. Usually, I am a very positive person but the constant upheaval of chaos surrounding me has taken me into a negative tailspin. A break will be good when I can catch up on my creative endeavours.
As a reward for submitting my report to University, I did a float as well which was just beautiful, the weightlessness is the best thing. Also, enrolling myself in a pottery course has helped me move along in my creative adventures again. Sometimes there is so much to take care of in the day-to-day – the time for creative ventures is slim. Here I am in my overalls, being covered in clay after wheel-throwing class where I made a vase, a pot, and a bowl – it was so good!
Another week flew by with getting my assignment written and 3 days of work. It can be very grueling on your mind when there is so much brain focus and then I have to switch to work mode and hang with the children. I am realising that working with 3-year-olds is not a thing that is going to be for me long term as it has its moments that test my patience. I am gaining experience working in early childhood so, therefore, best to know what you do not want to do.
The highlight of the week was going to see Courtney Barnett live at 3RRR, I had forgotten when I go to see live music I cannot see anything because I am too short! Anyway, I enjoyed the little glimpses of seeing the action of the band while listening to the songs.
Oh and an update on our bees, I have a couple of videos of them in action. I reckon they have built quite a lovely home in our roof cavity judging from the number of bees I see on beautiful sunny days.
The week is flying by in a blur now that I am working 3 days a week lucky with two days in between to work on my assignment and Uni work. It is so difficult to get back into the swing of study, especially after a bit of a break but I know this is my last unit before placement and that I am so close to finishing!!! The goal is to get through the maths unit and get it done.
There was nothing much that happened this week except for Ms H’s presence on my Insta feed with seeing her on the RCH Foundation page which was lovely. I got to go into the city but only for a short time to see the Victorian Police to get my fingerprints done for the FBI. I need to get all this done for my teacher registration next year and I am starting to get organised now as I know how long things take in the USA. Hey, they may surprise me but I am talking from past experience living there for 12 years.
The weather was pretty sweet on the weekend at long last with some sunshine and blue skies so I was out and about doing my walk and run exercise. It was great to see the doggos and the people were so happy on Victorian election day as well. My weekend was done with my clay class where I learned how to trim my clay pieces, it was so meditative and relaxing. I am really getting addicted to clay again and wheel throwing is so much fun! I am so happy to have some creative vibes happening at the moment.