Winter thoughts

The time is slowly approaching and we will have been six months since we have been back home in Australia. Whoa the time has flown by and we finally feel like we have a handle on things. The only variable up in the air in the starting date of our house build and all I can say is that it is going to happen real soon! There have been many learning experiences which we have experienced over the last few months and because it is winter and time to ruminate, here they are:

Eat ramen as much as you can in winter though make sure to blend the shitake mushrooms through for a depth of flavour – oh and I gotta find that Kombu!
  • When moving back to your home country have a bit of a plan about where you will live – lucky we our friend offered their place for house sitting until we decided to move back into our vacant house.
  • When looking for rental properties make sure you check the glass and if it is not double pane, forget it! I know it is hard when looking for places to rent as it has to be the perfect fit but we are freezing here in our place as there are lots of windows in this house built in 1990. It is part of a bunch of cheaply built row houses and man we enjoy the location and get this – the electricity bill for 3 months was $1379!! We blame the electric wall heaters which suck up the power and we have been leaving them on overnight ๐Ÿ˜ฆ which is a bit silly.
  • Again this rental has had its issues with replacing the range hood, the oven is bad, the dishwasher is loud, the water heater had to be replaced and we were without hot water for two days, the water pressure is terrible when you have a shower and are doing the washing at the same time, the curtains need an extra layer to keep the cold out and the doors and windows are not sealed properly, so the wind blows in (I have made door snakes!). Still it is a house with space which is what we were looking for and we will make the most of it. This is an experience and we are noting all these problems so when our house is built we will make sure that these problems do not exist!
  • Watch for stupid laws like no animals at rentals, apparently the laws in Victoria have changed and a landlord cannot deny you without a great excuse but still we had it good in California at the fancy rental haven of Central Park with our pets.
  • Make sure everything you need is in walking/PT distance – I still do not have a car but I borrow them or catch an Uber which works but I am sure that the money is adding up for each trip. The problem I find with that is that it all takes time and that time cannot be reimbursed, therefore I lose valuable study/work time.
  • My study zone is now in the dining room right by a massive window which leads to the courtyard and it is freezing so I have had to add another curtain to the existing to keep the cold out – the landlord refuses to listen to our complaints of the broken curtain mechanism? When we were landlords we happily helped out our tenants with any problem but it seems that this guy is a tight arse, at over $600 a week he should be laughing to the bank.
  • I am grateful that we are close to school and the kids can walk, I can walk to the gym and I have found some cool classes to go to – I love my weights workout and running 5kms on the cross trainer (who knew I could run!!), the library is close, Office works has 8 cent copies for Uni printouts – which is a walk or $10 Uber ride away, we have the best felafel down the road, I love our new community, Aussies are so friendly and helpful, there is a super cool bike path by the creek or the railway line that goes for kilometres, I have some amazing local nurseries just a walk away, I found a happy place to volunteer at the community nursery, we get to look after chickens and a beautiful pig named Gigi, chickens are at school and the community garden and in general life is good and we are happy back in Melbourne.
  • Oh and patience is everything and if Plan A does not work out – be ready with Plan B.

I enjoy walking around the streets to explore because that is how I experience a city that I visit or live. And yesterday I got stuck on one side of the tracks because the train was coming so I decided rather than wait I will go up the path. So what did I find? Some street art, a community garden by the railway tracks and a cute little book library. I was on a mission to Office works so I stopped at the local cafe Eighth Nerve and enjoyed an amazing coffee – that is one thing to appreciate about being back here, the coffee is amazing and made with local almond milk!

I also know that living in Melbourne in winter it is damn cold but thank goodness for my knitting skills I am snug as a bug – when going outside I always wear a knitted hat, have my gloves on standby and wear a coat and you will be comfortable (just watch out for that wind!!) Overall I reckon the move back has been a struggle for all of us as we miss our friends in California and the amazing weather over there but that was a wonderful growth experience and now we are ready for our next phase in life. I promise we will really appreciate our new house when it is built ๐Ÿ˜€

Settled finally for the next 12 months

Whoa what a big week my hubby flew in for good last Monday and since then we have been planning and packing our lil house to move to a rental property! On top of all that I am writing two papers for Uni and going on missions to collect a fish tank we bought on eBay. Deep breathing now and I am so thankful for the gym to help me manage the stress of moving and life and we are finally getting plans for the next 12 months done and dusted. Our house will be partly demolished and we started the process when we moved the monolith black fridge out the back door by chiseling out the door frame and taking off the back door – lucky for us we had some very innovative movers!

So over the weekend we packed everything away into boxes and transported our stuff Monday into a 10 tonne truck to our new house just down the road. On Sunday I had to do a mission in the arvo to collect a fish tank with its filter, light and pebbles to save our goldfish from the pond in the front yard as we are remodelling the kids did not think they would survive! When I got back the kids were pretty excited that we got a tank and we have now set it up in our kitchen, they now spend time watching the fish swim around – I had no idea the fish were so big! I said to them to watch some YouTube videos on taking care of goldfish because I don’t need the job of cleaning a fish tank too. I have been driving about in cars from Car Next Door and its been a great thing to do as you get to test drive cars and so far my fave has been a Toyota Prius Hybrid, hopefully in the future we will buy a hybrid. When we moved on Monday, I borrowed a car from our a neighbour who has a Subaru Forrester and it was so good to drive a Soobie again ๐Ÿ˜€ the bonus was when I went to pick up the car the owner had chickens in his front yard, so cool! And as of this weekend we get to look after the chickens and a pig called Gigi at my sons high school – so fun!

So I was on a mission to unpack and get things out of boxes into their places as having a messy space is not good for my mind. So here is the lounge with what we have managed to gather together to make it homely. We cannot hang our art on the walls as it is a rental property – boo! So I have used a tea towel my sister got me for my birthday and our IKEA cubby for our bags and I found the great granny square blanket at The Salvos, score! Next week our stuff from California will finally be delivered and thank goodness this is a 3 bedroom house with a garage so we can store everything here until our move again next year into our newly remodelled house. Though it looks like we will still have to get rid of more bits and bobs but until then I had better get back to my study…

It is just so nice to have a brain break and goals to work towards such as writing my blog or going out to buy another pot plant – oh yeah that is my latest collection (as I am decorating with plants rather than art prints). I am collecting pot plants for our new home, I have a goal to grow them here and have them ready to put into our new house next year and so far I have a rubber plant, a fiddle leaf fig, a few foxtail agaves (rescued from our backyard), some succulents and a monstera all inspired by Summer Rayne Oakes and her rescue chicken! Oh and she has the best tutorial for a vertical wall garden which I would love to do at our new house, which is made from guttering and a very cool watering system.

Tough times

Well what can I say about last week is that all I got to do was get into my little routine of going to the gym every day except Saturday and study every day! That was the plan but as it turned out the weekend was no study time as we had to run errands on Sunday to get stuff for Missy’s camp at the Yarra Valley and eat ramen in the city. Saturday I had to talk to a builder and get a couch delivered, so good to have a couch that I have borrowed from my friend.

Life has been very boring of late as I have two very heavy subjects and lots of reading. I have assignments due – one this week and one next week and I am trying to get it all done so I can go away for our little Easter break at the Dandenong Ranges to see Rone and play in the forest for a while! I really have to have some goals at the moment as the solo parenting is taking its toll on my mind and time. Lucky for the gym as that really helps with getting out and doing something otherwise the week flies by with study and if I am lucky a bit of crafting at night as it is hard to focus on reading, let along writing something sensible. I went to the craft store on the weekend to get some yarn and supplies so I can craft on a whim.

The kids are doing well at school though they say they are bored so I feel that it could have been better for them if we stayed over in the States, especially at our wonderful elementary school. Thing is if you are used to a progressive approach to education it is a hard to compare it to anything else. As the kids are at public schools here which look good to me but I am not at school everyday so maybe they just need more challenge? It could be that one is a tween and the other is a teen and all they want to do is be on the screen – aaargh my greatest enemy/friend. I use my machine to study each day so it hard for me to model good screen time behaviours but these two are on them as soon as they come home from school and until I turn the wi-fi off at 8pm. I have had to unplug the wi-fi but I need more strategies to get these kids to do something else! They get their chores done but then what? We had a great time when we first moved in to our house and we played Exploding Kittens everyday after dinner until they got sick of it but I think we will have to start again just to have some quality family time.

I still am looking for my peeps and I feel like a stranger in a strange land. Repatriating is tough and I had read about how it feels in books but it is not until you are in the situation you realise that you have to start all over again from scratch. Well at least I have some family and friends here I can call upon, but now that school is happening again the weekends for a lot of them are playing sports. It has been 3 months since I left California and I would like to get out more but I really don’t have time to spare with having to study at every moment I can find. I need to make more goals of hanging with friends for study break times and just get out an about. The kids don’t help as everything I suggest to day trip to they say, “oh that’s boring!” Maybe I was like that when I was young and just wanted to play Nintendo all the time?

At least this weekend we have a plan to go to Fitzroy for Mexican food at Hotel Jesus for Missy’s 11th birthday and go out for some ice cream at Gelato Messina and then to the music shop to get the birthday prezzie of a bass guitar case – good times here we come, now that is a great goal to work towards!