Tuesday, May 24, 2011

lost and found...

I wrote some of this months and months ago when I was feeling a little lost.  I'm not sure why I didn't post it but I think maybe it is because it felt too raw.  Now that I'm feeling a little more grounded I think I'm ready to share...

My time in Australia has been a series of highs and lows.  I've felt lost, sad, and lonely and I went looking to the dictionary to find the definitions of the words...

Lost : 
unable to find one's way, not knowing ones whereabouts
unable to be found
(of a person) very confused or insecure or in great difficulties
denoting something that has been taken away or cannot be recovered
having perished or been destroyed

wow… that explains a lot

very similar to loss

the fact or process of losing something or someone
the state or feeling of grief when deprived of someone or something of value
a person or thing that is badly missed when lost
(( at a loss))
puzzled or uncertain what to think, say or do

How a simple dictionary definition can express so clearly how I've felt at times.  This new life is the adventure we'd been talking of for so long.  I wonder what the definition of adventure is?

n. an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous experience or activity
daring and exciting activity calling for enterprise and enthusiasm
engage in hazardous and exciting activity esp. the exploration of unknown territory

Then you can see my problem - I am all at once experiencing being lost / feeling loss and being in hazard on a adventure… one in which I need enterprise and enthusiasm

project or undertaking typically one that is difficult or requires effort
initiative and resourcefulness

having the ability to find quick and cleaver ways to overcome difficulties

So the result is that I have undertaken something to which I need specific skills - some of which I don't have…. I've come unprepared for the tasks I'm experiencing and without my friends and family safety net.

The thing is I've always WANTED TO BE the kind of person who goes on adventures and lives in another part of the world. I think sometimes I am this person and sometimes I'm just not.  Sometimes I just want things to go back to being easy and reliable and comfortable.

Some people told me I was brave to move my family to Australia… and I think I am.  I'm able to imagine the possibility of success in this… to be able to embrace all it entails and come out at the other end- DARE I SAY... HAPPY!

Cin cin (cheers)!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

sweet life...

I've found macaroons, almond tarts, and all manner of cakes in Australia!  The cafe culture of my little town of Bowral is LOVELY!  I  am absolutley on board with the Australian notion that coffee should be served espresso style with cake... for brekkie (breakfast).
There is no such thing as drip coffee in Australia.  If you get a coffee in Australia it will be espresso... flat white...long black...cappachino... latte!  There are about 300 places in which to get coffee within the 3 little towns close to my home.  I love ordering a Cap and getting it with something sweet!  I'm addicted!

In order to feel like I've accomplished something in my day - I've been playing with some new recipes.  I've even attempted to make those fab little macaroons.  They are tricky so I now understand why they are $3.00 EACH.

my first attempt ended up looking like this-

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

little miss muffet

little Miss Muffet...
sat on a tuffet 
Eating her curds and whey,
Along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away

The thing is I promised to write about all things fabulous and glam...  well
the bugs in Australia ARE IN FACT EXTRAORDINARY and FAB in their own little buggy ways.  

Every day I'm on a spider hunt - one day I found one waiting for me in the car - a big one too -a Huntsman.  Huntsman are HUGE and look a little like a lighter color tarantula.  They are, however, not poisonous.  Therefore, you are actually glad when you see one because you know it isn't dangerous - unless you have a heart condition and get a big fright when you spot one.  So far I have had one in my car, 2 in the bathroom, 1 in the laundry, and have seen many more outside.  The other spiders are a little tricky because you are always trying to make sure the ones lurking in the corners aren't the baddies - red back, white tail, and funnel web oh my!!  I've killed both a red back and a white tail.... IN MY HOUSE!!!!!   I spend way too much time ridding the house of webs and spiders.

There are other bugs to contend with in Australia the most annoying are the kamikaze "christmas bugs".  They are a little metallic colored beetle that have no idea how to get around and are constantly dive bombing into anything in their way.... sometimes this includes me.... yuck!  They then land on their backs and stay that way wiggling around until they can flip over and then fling their little bodies back into the air only to CRASH into another object.  They must be miserable - not sure how they eat since they never seem to land anywhere with any accuracy.  

A word on flies.... I thought I knew what flies were - I was wrong!  Seattle, you have no bugs seriously!  The flies in Australia are not bothered at all with you swatting them away.  I think they rather think it a challenge to land on you and stay there no matter how much moving around you do to avoid this.  

It seems that almost every day I encounter a creepy crawly of a new kind.  I must say I'm proud of the way I've adapted to these little creatures - I would have thought they would have sent me screaming into the other room, but to my surprise, I just get rid of them as if I've been doing it all my life.  well..... that is unless a more appropriate bug killer is around - my husband!  He ALWAYS gets the honor if he is home.  This is what husbands are for after all...Sticks and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails to my Sugar and Spice and everything Nice!

and I promise to post a picture of one of the biggies the next time I capture one :)


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

momma drama...

for the last 12 1/2 years my primary job has been to care for 2 little pieces of me

This week marks the start of another school year and my kids are growing up so fast.   The oldest is off at "high school" grade 7-12 here in Australia.  I'm so proud of the way both kids handled this crazy week.  They really both just took it in stride and dealt with the changes in a very brave way.  The oldest navigating a new "bigger" school, in every sense of the word, with confidence and the best laid back attitude and my youngest switching gears and dealing with my mistake with as much grace and bravery you could ask of an 8 year old.    You see... I had the dates wrong and he had to go from having another week off to having to start... school....today...in 15 minutes.  Of course there was a melt down and a bribe involved... but the fact that he dealt with it in a matter of minutes and moved on makes me so proud.

It took me a little longer to shake it off... all day really...after all it was my mistake and I'm the one ultimatly responsible for their happiness - right?  Actually I've been realizing that even though I would move mountains to make them happy and well adjusted - the thing is they are now old enough to start deciding who they are going to be in those big testing moments.  I have no idea what went through his mind when he realized we were starting school ... TODAY!  The most amazing part is that he didn't blame me at all - I never heard "this is your fault" and believe me I was beating myself up.
We are all growing up -
thank you justis and zakk for teaching me how to be your mom... I'm very proud of you

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

back home...

when you are living your life in a new country the words "back home" come up alot - sometimes in conversation with others and sometimes just in your thoughts.  I've been thinking about what back home really means... to me it is those things that are uniquely familiar and make you feel comfortable and secure as well as the place that you feel is home.  Being in a new place can be disorienting - I go to the grocery store here in oz and I dont see familiar brands on the shelves - I have to look at everything and read the label to figure out what items will be most "like home".  Doing new things and trying new foods and visiting new places is very exciting but also exhausting when you try to give each new experience perspective based on what you have always known.  It truly is like falling down the rabbit hole and sometimes I feel like Alice - everything is the same but different somehow.
When I want a taste of "home" I usually just want food from my favorite restaurant.... so while feeling a bit home sick last week I decided to make my favorite dish from my old "local" (australians call the pub they frequent in their town their local)
it just had to be the port torta dish from cactus in seattle... a dish I ate at least once a week for years...
it took 5 different stores and some supplies sent from the states in my last care package to make.... hours of roasting peppers and pureeing ingredients and a few creative substitutions (you just cant find mexican items in australia) and the end result.... was... so much like "back home"


Monday, January 24, 2011

in the moment...

in the moment...
great in theory but hard to actually accomplish.  I'm thinking alot about what it means to live in the moment.  I guess in basics its noticing and enjoying where you are - which means you are not wishing to be elsewhere or thinking of the past or future.  How hard is it when you don't want to forget those people and things that mean the most to you.
 I'm a natural planner... I LOVE to plan everything (not as good at following through on that plan)  and because I like to plan, it is really hard to stop planning for the future and just live in today.  So I'm making a effort to... notice a smile - especially when its mine.  Enjoy the little things - coffee, a good magazine, my kids laughing and take a deep breath as often as necessary and look around at the good things and moments in my life.
Being happy (or trying to) doesn't have to take away from all I've left behind - it doesn't dishonor my feelings for those things... instead it's a choice to be happy and make the most of all moments - even these hard ones!

Monday, January 17, 2011

marking time...

It is so hard to mark the passage of time when the rules have all changed.  Living in another hemisphere is really putting my sense of time and space to the test.  I was thinking spring summer instead of Christmas... so hard to figure out what month it is because to me in feels like July - we are going to the beach the kids are home for "summer break" and we go to the local pool - we buy ice cream and iced lattes and barbque... but I'm also trying to buy the kids "back to school" items and get them sorted for school... oh yes I just typed "sorted" - in the states I would have said "situated"  
Without the flow of the calendar making sense to me, I just feel a bit out of touch and lost.  Lost is such a familiar feeling for me these days - lost in both space and time.  I'm wondering when I'll wake up and realize what time of year it is and for it to make sense?  I've been here 6 months and have skipped so many markers of time -4th of july- summer (we skipped it arriving in july) - fall going to pumpkin patch with friends - warm drinks - halloween -trick or treating - thanksgiving - christmas lights and decorations ( there were so few here that they almost didnt register as real decorations) and even though we had a wetter and colder than normal December for Australia -it still did not have that crisp feel with the bells ringing in all the shops and Santa on every corner.  Missing what I know will get better over time I'm sure - especially when I figure out the flow of seasons here - so next up is Australia day at the end of the month and I guess it is similar to 4th of July... we'll see if it feels at all the same?