Monthly Archives: December 2014

Happy New Year, my blogging bros!

Greetings from the future. 🙂

I’m currently drinking champagne with the hubby and watching Rage (a long-running music clip show on our national broadcaster). So far 2015 is looking pretty sweet.

Big things are afoot for Mediocre Meg this year. Stay tuned…

I hope you’re all ringing in midnight in style. I love your face. Yes you! See you round the blogosphere my lovelies!

(This post may or may not have been inspired by a substantial amount of alcohol. Don’t tell anyone though!)

Advertisements

Daily(ish) Gratitude 27/12/14

Today I am grateful for:

1. The afterglow of a fun, raucous, manic, glorious, bountiful, family-packed Christmas.

2. Fresh pecans.

IMG_0859.JPG

3. Dat sky:

IMG_0820.JPG

No, seriously:

IMG_0899.JPG

Dat sky!

IMG_0904.JPG

Added bonus

I just have to share the progress of a present I’m making on behalf of my best friend. I’m running late with it (natch) but I hope she loves it as much as I do! It will be a crocheted Nutella jar cushion. I’m pretty darn chuffed with it so far.

IMG_0936.JPG

How’s your festive season going?

Starlight, Starbright

I wish I had the equipment (and skills!) to take a good shot of the sky out here! During the day it is a vast ocean of blue with storm clouds racing across it. My parents’ house sits partway up a big hill so you can look out across the village and rolling fields to mountains in the distance. During tumultuous weather you can watch the approaching storm advance towards you (or just rumble ineffectually in the distance) while all the birds madly dash for cover.

But at night it is simply spectacular. This evening is crystal clear and the stars are eye-poppingly bright. I could see the distinct kite of the Pleiades and the smudges of the large and small Magellanic Clouds on my walk to the motel we’re staying at. The major stars in Orion were outright twinkling at me and all the faint stars around it were clear as clear can be. It makes my soul do a happy shiver looking up at a night sky like that! The biggest downside to living in Sydney for me is the light pollution at night.

Now I’m waiting for all the kids to fall asleep properly so I can plant their stockings from “Santa” (whose handwriting looks surprisingly like my own):

IMG_0798.JPG

I can’t wait to see their faces in the morning!! Christmas really is way more fun with kids around. The tree is covered with awkwardly draped tinsel and handmade ornaments, including this little corker assembled by my two year old:

IMG_0790.JPG

Gingerbread man literally can’t even…

I can though! Bring on the morning, with bowls of fruit and champagne breakfast and mounds of new toys and outfits and activities to play with together.

I love Christmas so much. Can you tell?

Update

It’s been a crazy few days, trying to get things ready for Christmas before we headed out to my parents’ place in the country. And finishing up Kindy for the year (how did that even happen?!). And trying my hardest to crochet a custom order for a good friend to give as a present. All while my two year old decided to be a textbook two year old and be EXTREMELY clingy and cantankerous.

I didn’t get the crochet done in time (thankfully my friend doesn’t mind it being late) and packing wasn’t really stressful because I literally just threw things into the suitcases with no rhyme or reason. Pretty sure I’ve forgotten a bunch of stuff but I just don’t care (this could also be thanks to the meds I’m on these days…).

But we’re here now, with my sister and her daughter over from Perth. My oldest is currently in bed with her four-year-old cousin after spending the day playing like they hang out all the time. They came out together with my sister in my dad’s car while hubby drove all the luggage and presents out. I, meanwhile, caught the train with my youngest, my mum and my nana. So glad we did that! My daughter slept on my chest pretty much the whole way (3.5 hours) while the rest of us chatted and snacked and read things. Far less stressful than dealing with a toddler screeching to get out of her carseat for hours!!

Of course now it’s after midnight and my little one is still wide awake after that big nap late in the day, but there are so many new and exciting people around for her to play with tomorrow morning so I’m not too stressed out about it.

I love being out here. They’re in a little village in Central Western NSW and it’s so peaceful and sweet and there’s just so much S P A C E. Really helps my head breathe and relax. My parents have put us up in a serviced apartment-style hotel that’s quite lovely. I have a feeling I won’t want to go home again!!

I hope all your Christmas preparations are going well (if you celebrate it). I can’t WAIT!

Daily(ish) Gratitude 16/12/14

Today I am grateful for:

1. The voices of love, solidarity and reason within the maelstrom of shit around the Sydney siege (mostly glaring at you for that, Murdoch).

2. My oldest daughter’s wise, gentle and caring Kindergarten teacher who we say goodbye to at the last day of school for the year tomorrow. Thankfully she is not averse to former students dropping by for a hug every now and then (although sadly I think she might be weirded out if I tried it…).

3. Night time chats with my eldest before bed. I don’t do that enough anymore. This must be remedied.

Sunday Soapbox: Fighting the Good Fight

I’m feeling fairly introspective this evening so it won’t be a particularly ranty post from atop my soapbox tonight.

After a few busy weekends I was finally able to carve out time for my usual Sunday ritual of hitting a cafe by myself and reading the mags from the papers over a leisurely coffee and a salad again today. I find it incredibly relaxing and therapeutic: it only takes about an hour or two but completely revitalises me for the week ahead.

This week one of them had a piece by author Matthew Reilly where he talked about his former wife, who took her own life a few years ago. One paragraph in particular got me right in the guts:

Probably the biggest lesson from Natalie’s depression was that medical conditions don’t care how much money you have, what kind of house you live in or what kind of car you drive. When you’re successful, you think you can solve or achieve anything just by diligence and hard work, but there are some fights you can’t win – even though you should still keep fighting anyway.

Such a simple, honest, poignant truth about the reality of living with depression (or any chronic health condition, really). To know that despite all your best efforts you will likely never outright defeat it is a humbling experience. I’m fortunate in that I’ve never actually felt suicidal but it’s still hard to accept that the black dog is unlikely to ever leave my orbit for long. I can shore myself up so that the barking isn’t so loud, and even completely shake it for a spell, but eventually it always comes sniffing round again.

Yet as Reilly says, it’s still a fight worth fighting.

If you ever want to give up, don’t. Take a break, cede some territory while you consolidate your defences, allow yourself to feel how hard it is, but know that you are always worth fighting for.

If you don’t have depression but care about someone who does, make sure they know you’ll always fight for them too. You don’t have to understand what they’re going through to validate their emotions and just sit with them in the dark places. Listen, and care, and it will provide at least a small boost to their arsenal, even if it’s still not quite enough.

Depression is, well, depressing. And implacable. And completely overwhelming at times – even to those simply observing it.

But that’s still no reason to give up the fight.

Stay strong, y’all!

Wednesday Recipe: Water Kefir

I know it’s Thursday (almost Friday here in fact). Shush! I want to get back on top of things so figured it was better to post late than not at all.

Anyway.

A couple of weeks ago I got my hands on some water kefir grains from a facebook friend. I’ve been wanting to include more probiotics in my diet but often either can’t eat (thanks to my gluten and dairy issues) or just plum don’t like store bought fermented foods. This seemed like a good first experiment for home fermentation.

A great guide to the basics of water kefir can be found here – be sure to watch the video at the end if you want to give this a shot. I didn’t at first and almost killed my grains with boiling hot water! Thankfully they rebounded.

My goal has been to experiment with flavours until my girls like it (especially my oldest, who could really do with more probiotics herself). So far these two have been winners, albeit watered down with soda water:

1. Mixed Berry

IMG_0684.JPG

After the initial ferment pour the water into a jar and add a handful of frozen mixed berries. Leave to ferment on the counter another day or two for extra fizz.

2. Lemon and Ginger

IMG_0673.JPG

After the initial ferment add two slices of lemon and a few chunks of fresh ginger (I added fresh blueberries to this batch but prefer it without – although the blueberries were super tasty to eat!). Again, you can leave it on the counter to get some extra fizz or just pop it straight in the fridge. I highly recommend leaving it for at least 24 hours if possible for the flavours to blend.

My next batch will include pear and ginger, and some pomegranate juice I need to use up. I’ll keep you posted!

Daily(ish) Gratitude 11/12/14

Today I am grateful for:

1. Fun diversions like Micro Bookends to sink my teeth into. I can see myself becoming a flash fiction fanatic before too long…

2. A spontaneous coffee date with a friend and her ONE WEEK OLD baby. Squee!

3. The knowledge that hubby is driving our oldest in to school in the morning. Bring on school holidays already! Cannot wait to have no timetable for a while.