It’s the most wonderful time of the year

I have to say I’m pretty chuffed hearing back from people who had their Christmas dinners funded by my little thread on twitter. I feared it would flop or worse draw backlash. But it was so heartwarming 🙂 Thanks you to everyone who gave and received!!!!!

My Christmas was good and quiet, cooked a Xmas eve dinner for Bruce and I, went up to my cousins for Xmas lunch, and had leftovers with Bruce and his son for Xmas dinner. I’m glad it was quiet because I’ve been a bit deaf in my ears since about Thursday and I tried wax removal but it’s not better despite a heap of wax coming out. My Right wrist seems to have succumbed to RSI and gave me shooting pain I couldn’t sleep with a few nights, and my ankle I rolled while moving is still giving me grief. I do believe my body is screaming at me to stop. Usually it just gives me a sore throat, but I guess I pushed through too much and here we are, ringing ears to ring in the new year? I have a GP appointment booked on the 4th, so if I’m still suffering then I can tell all my woes to my non-bulk-billed GP for $69 upfront.

 

So we’ve moved in a starting to settle – the kids moved out a few days ago too. That was a stressful time and lead up but I’m glad we were able to provide them with clean safe housing for a few months while they established their baby. (yes, like a plant. I’m thinking of planting a rosemary bush here)

So, I rest this week, potter around, drive my little car with its new purple steering wheel to the shops when my ears give me more feedback on the world.

Love yas!

One Week til Xmas

Please sir! Maxi’s Wishlist

Well that was a few weeks of hell, wasn’t it? Moving house, cleaning the old place, 40 degree days, hot nights, family stress. We’re slowly unpacking, I’ve lost and broken a few things, but we’ll get there. Been using my phone tethering for internet. Still not getting the connection til the 5th December, which I guess is slowly coming.

We were asked in Antabuse last week what our goals were for 2024, what we wanted to achieve. I really want to get back to doing my Japanese practice and streaming it and games. My new monitor didn’t survive the move, and my webcam was on its way out a month ago. I’ve ordered a cheap webcam and I’ll use my phone for the twitch chat screen until I can bring myself to getting another second monitor, or if one falls my way which sometimes happens. It’s a real shame that the bulk waste just gone was the last one, with people needing to book one from next year rather than having certain suburbs having it at a time. It’s great shopping! We didn’t pick up anything this time since we were mid move, though we did dump a lot.

The kids are moving back to their mums place, I hope that works out for them, so I’ll get started on my new little phona routines when I have internet, when everything goes back after new year breaks. I also ordered a meal planning and shopping list pad for the fridge so I can plan meals each week when I get my vege box and local butcher and fish shop meats as much as possible. Though discounted Aldi and IGA items are on the menu too. Pottering around. Finding my way around.

Took most of the moving boxes to the recycling at the tip yesterday, my can and bottle recycling to the closest return and earn today. It’s in a carpark so not as cool for Maxi, but we went to another park for a run later. Next time we’ll do the park run first, then return to recycling.

Yeah sorting out my brain. Slowly.

I just cried to the TPG lady. How are you?

Suppose I’m due for a blogging brain dump, might as well start with how I just cried to the TPG lady because my internet install isn’t until Jan 8, and I read the text as today because you’d assume the internet would be installed the week you said you were moving house.

*breathe*

So we’re currently tethering on our Aldi sims with the excessive amount of accumulated data we have on our family plan. The plan that just went up from $80 to $95 a month because of course it did.

So, the move is actually going okay. Most stuff was moved in the truck Tuesday. The new place was dirrrrrty including a sly sprouting potato in the cupboard. But you know, we’ll leave our old place spotless because that’s how it works. I removed the last of the items from the main house yesterday, and decobwebbed and vacuumed. Next step for me is wall washing, bathroom scrubbing and bleaching and kitchen cupboards and oven, So I’ll head back Sunday armed with cleaning products and dig in. Tomorrow is supposed to be 41 degrees so we MIGHT get the carpet cleaner and do the only two rooms with carpets because they have the aircon. But aside from that, I’m clearly exhausted, plus I’m sore from rolling my ankle moving boxes the other day. And I did 20k steps yesterday on said ankle.

So everything feels hard, I keep feeling like I’m going to get in trouble for something. But I’m setting up my little house. Set up the coffee yesterday morning. Found everything to make dinner last night – despite having already tried to burn the place down and setting a box on fire I sat on the stop and the stove had been knocked on. So I’m down some kitchen items, like a vege peeler, some knives whose handles caught, and my cutlery tray. Ugh. So, yeah, the fire alarms work, but three people stayed in bed.

So I’ll hopefully get down to the community centre and op shop in Cooranbong next week before they close for the Xmas break and can replace some of the kitchen stuff and pick up a few other things. I think their food bank closes Thursday. I stocked up on short dated chocolates at the little church one near the old place yesterday that has its last week next week til school goes back in February.

If anyone’s feeling generous and wants to buy us some things for the new place off our wishlist the house one is here and mine is here. The kids could do with more size 3 nappies, bub is 4 months old now and growing well! Also my new monitor did NOT survive the move :'( Not that it matters if I don’t have a proper internet connection. My “plan” is to get back to streaming and practicing Japanese on Duolingo and Twitch in the new year, and find my happy little routine in the new place. There’s a local fish shop and butcher next to it and I’m hoping to be able to get us fresh meat and seafood there and have it with veges that are in season and either in the fruit and veg box I’ve got the first one coming today from Farmer’s Pick, with supplemented excess veges from OZharvest when I figure out the local foodbank hours and routine. I got a bag of frozen pies from the Woodrising community centre yesterday which the kids have already started on which is good because then they’re eating something at least. I’m supposed to be doing more for me and less for others. Let’s see how that goes!

17 days til Xmas

Re-finding a new routine, with added players

A blurry baby photo. The baby is wearing pink and in is her mother's arm who is wearing a green dressing gown. They are in my kitchen

Bub has been in the world 17 days, kids have been living with us for 22 days. It’s busy and lovely and stressful and new and I’m slowly figuring out here I fit in all this, what I can look after and control, what works and doesn’t work for me and what I just have to remember is out of my control.

My kitchen with clen dishes

I’m doing my dishes in the morning still, cooking dinner for everyone in the evening. We’re still getting Everyplate boxes – upped it to four serves which is $50 extra a week, which makes it better value. Just trying to figure out what meals everyone likes and eats. I mean everyone eats every main, I just suss out the preferred meals. I’d love it, if you haven’t yet, sign up for a free trial box and I’ll get $25 credit towards ours 🙂

Our landlord moved us to a new real estate agent, so they’ve booked an inspection for September 26. They’ve also organised for a plumber to do a water efficiency check on the property tomorrow, and I replied to their email about the inspection asking if the requested repairs from the June 2 inspection had been handed over, because the last real estate didn’t follow up on any of them, and of course not. So I re-requested the bathroom light and exhaust to be looked at since it is dodgy as and doesn’t always turn on with the lightswitch, and the two hotplates whose thermostats don’t kick in and the kids burned things the first time they cooked here since I hadn’t given them the rundown on which hotplates to avoid or use with caution.

We’re of course anxious about meeting a new real estate agent and what their expectations will be. We’re also out of lease and hope to get a new one – bearing in mind that the kids aren’t ON the lease and as adults should be to live here on a regular basis. Even though they were kids when we moved here, and still living at their mums, but the whole *situation* necessitated it and they’ve got a lot on their plate and public and social housing is this mythical unicorn, and who’s gonna rent to two new parents on youth allowance? So, it’s engaging with those services, social workers, mental health etc etc that I’m also supporting the kids to do. At least Bee could get into the non-bulk billing GP I go to since they were on their booked from when they tried living with us three years ago.

We have managed to acquire a bunch of home stuff from my Nanna’s deceased estate – a kettle, sandwich press, microwave, toaster, crockery and cutlery , much needed TOWELS (mine were all on their last legs without there being extra people!), and I’m getting the fridge and bed once the photos are taken for sale. So that’s been super helpful. I picked up another baby gate off marketplace to keep Maxi out of the kids room without permission. We’ve also sorted so much more of our own stuff, and moved everything car parts and computer parts wise out to the garage. Not sure yet if and when Ash, Bruce’s son will be joining us, but we’re as ready as we can be, ey?

I’m still going to my weekly Antabuse group, we did our urine tests this week to check whether we’d been taking other meds to cope with not being able to have alcohol, and surely I passed.

I’m excited and nervous about our Australian Unemployed Workers Union meetup this Thursday in town. 1pm at Bernie’s Bar (the Old Star Hotel) – you should RSVP and come! There’s gonna be free food and beanies and scarves and comrades!

me nd Maxi in our life jackets on the boat
Maxi and Bruce have been keeping me grounded

I want to say thank you again to family and friends who have been so supportive in so many ways from hugs to an ear to listen to me to cash to packets of nappies and biscuits off our wishlist. If you wanna help out materially, use those links or Buy Me A Coffee?

Chicken and Leek Pie

A square pie

I HAVE to re-post this recipe after making it for the first time in the life of this blog – it turned out super well too! Well, not really a recipe, just a brief guide to the ingredients and method with you left to add flair depending on what you have on hand and what you score at the supermarket. I pretty much had to start from scratch when buying the ingredients this time around since I’d reasonably recently done fridge and pantry culls and cleanouts and we’ve been mostly making EVeryplate meals lately.

 

Ingredients used:

  • 500g chicken thigh, diced
  • A couple of rashers of bacon, diced
  • Half a thing each of white and swiss brown mushrooms chopped roughly
  • A leek, sliced thinly
  • Butter for frying up stuff
  • Some fresh thyme. picked and then chopped finely
  • Garlic (not pictured)
  • Half a jar of light cream
  • Tsp vegetable stock, cup boiling water
  • 3 sheets frozen puff pastry 
  • An egg and some milk for the egg wash on top of the pie

Method:

  1. Chop everything up and put into bowls on your bench ready to fry up
  2. Melt some butter in the frypan. Fry up leek and mushroom with some of the thyme. Transfer to bowl.
  3. Fry up the bacon.
  4. Melt more butter. Fry up garlic and the chicken with the rest of the thyme, in batches if you prefer.
  5. Return it all to the pan.
  6. Add stock powder and boiling water. Or stock if you’re fancy like that.
  7. Simmer down til there’s very little liquid. Add in cream and cook through. Add pepper to taste.
  8. Preheat oven to 180 degrees, get pastry out of freezer and place on bench to thaw.
  9. Use one piece of pastry as pie base, put in filling, then top with pastry and use third piece for decorations. Brush with egg and milk wash.
  10. Cook for at least 45min, until pastry is browned to your liking.

Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes, Then serve up. I do like to serve it with fresh green beans if they’re in season, but it’s great by itself too!

Sometimes we add a little seed mustard to it to change up the flavour a little. Or use chicken breast, or different mushrooms. Or some sour cream. But this is the base recipe that is universally loved!

As an aside, my “lemon” kitchen is coming along, with actual lemons, lemon tea towels and mitts and an apron and a mat even. I got these amazing vintage curtains (well my sister got them for me and even hemmed them to size) for $4 at The Makers Place in Teralba. I love how it’s all coming together!