2022 was pretty great. I managed to have two whole months of sister time!

Good things that happened in 2022:

  • Rosemarie came to Australia! It was so nice. We did so many fun things, ate so many delicious things, played so many games. We went to Wilsons Prom and Fraser Island. I wish she could come every year.
  • Solidified friendships with Discord pals. Lots of fun parties, games days, crafternoons, and meals out.
  • We finally got to go to Canada and see family and friends after more than 3 years away.
  • We went on a few small trips to Flowerdale, Sydney, and the Grampians.
  • We learned to play pickleball and became slightly obsessed.
  • I learned to knit sweaters.
  • I committed to lactose free life and feel a lot better.
  • I went on an epic trip by myself to Queensland. Already brainstorming another one…
  • We got invited to quite a few BIG parties: three weddings, two 40th birthdays, and a 1st birthday that was just as big as a wedding!
  • Got binoculars and saw many new birds.

PBs: Snatch 47kg –> 48kg in comp, and 49kg in training. CJ 58kg –> 58kg, but I did 60kg one time in training. Back squat 73×1, Front squat 58×2, Deadlift 80×1, OHP (in Sotts position lol) 34×1.

I didn’t improve much on paper in weightlifting this year. But I think I still did improve. I think I’m due for some bigger PBs in 2023.

Also I didn’t have any major problems with injuries so that is something to be very grateful for.

New board games: Viticulture, Concordia, Wingspan Asia, Mahjong, Kingdomino, Azul Summer Pavilion. We played 31 different board games with 29 different people!! We played A LOT of games in 2022 compared to other years due to spending so much time with Rosemarie.

Books (in rough order of favourite to worst):

  • Pachkino by Min Jin Lee – A book about multiple generations of a Korean family living in Japan. Enjoyed.
  • The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah – A kind of sad good book about a family going through a terrible life in USA in the 1930s. Why are people so awful.
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini – A somewhat depressing book about the oppression of women in Afghanistan.
  • Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles – Kind of cute. Some clever funny writing.
  • Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner – Made me sad and hungry.
  • The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue – A clever nurse working during a pandemic. Emma’s books are always very readable.
  • The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes – Who wouldn’t like a book about fierce lady librarians.
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett – Good, about two sisters who go totally different ways.
  • My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell – This is written by someone I used to be in an Livejournal community with! Reminded me a lot of what happened with the music teacher at my high school.
  • The Push by Ashley Audrain – Didn’t really like that the book was written in 2nd person, but overall a very thrilling story about a psychopath child.
  • Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid – A bit lighter, made me want to go surfing in California
  • Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel – Weird to read a book that has covid in it. Some nice Canadian descriptions.
  • Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker – Very pro-sleep, even naps. I skimmed through a bunch of chapters because I already knew the stuff from my BSc Neuroscience days.
  • In My Dreams I Hold a Knife by Ashley Winstead – I thought it was a pretty stupid book. Kind of immature. Written in annoying alternating chapters.

Great new recipes:

Favourite bird pics:

2021 Final Thoughts: This year is finishing off pretty nice… the weather is great, we got to have a normal Christmas, and it’s summer fun times all the time. The government has completely changed their stance on covid and now we’re just letting it rip? We’ll see how this goes. I’m just hoping it lasts because we have a few big things planned in 2022 and I REALLY hope they don’t get cancelled.

Nothing got cancelled!

Last years goals: I dunno. Not get covid? (Nope, Scott and I got covid separately, in May and August. Thankfully very mild, and we didn’t have to miss anything important.)

2023 goals: Use my good camera more. Become more athletic. Eat more protein. More knitting. Start volunteering in migrant services.

2022 Final Thoughts: We are so lucky to be able to do all the things we got to do in 2022. I am very grateful for my friends and family, they really enrich our lives. I will be very happy if the next year continues on like last year.

Another busy month. Scott and I had to work a bit in between Christmas and New Years but still managed to get a good break. The Lonard’s came for Christmas this year so we got extra family time with them. Winter finally ended and we’ve had warmer weather.

Cousin Shaun (unpictured) had his 40th birthday party at a lawn bowls club. Scott was so excited he even brought his own bowls. It was a big party… around 70 children!!! It was so hot that day though we couldn’t actually bowl that much.

I made the biggest pan of Nanaimo bars I’ve ever made. They freeze so nicely I knew that future Katrina would be very happy with past Katrina if I made a double batch. It was so convenient to be able to just pull out what I needed for multiple different social events.

Scott turned 44. Originally he was going to go to a fancy vendor dinner that night, so I didn’t plan anything at all at home. And then at the last minute he told me he wasn’t going. So we just went out for dinner at S.owl in Carnegie. It was fine. We had the chefs selection which came with lamb and potatoes, and a bunch of sides, and the dinner was an espresso tiramisu type thing which was meant for sharing, but I don’t like coffee or dairy, so he got to have the whole thing.

Phoenix Christmas Hit Out

I competed in the Christmas Hit Out. I did better than my last comp, but still no PBs. If I had just gotten one more snatch, it would have been quite a good result, but alas… no. I snatched 45kg, then missed 48 by a hair. Harvey asked if I wanted to go up to 49 (which would be a PB, and a compromise from the 50 that Nic had planned for my 3rd attempt), which I said YEAH! But then I lifted with too much gusto and missed it behind me. Then I clean and jerked 55 and 58 (equal PB), but then couldn’t stand up 60 despite quadruple bouncing.

I have found my last two competitions very frustrating!! I wish we got unlimited attempts.. but that is not how it works.

After I was done competing I photographed the boys session. I was bored of boring weightlifting photos so I decided to crank up the speed and catch everyone with their funniest faces. I’m not sure the athletes liked the pictures I got of them, but I did!!!

We went out for lunch with some Discord friends and the bar was suuuuper air conditioned. Scott, the gentleman, let me borrow his hoodie. We had a cheesesteak that had kimchi on it, and swiss cheese (nearly lactose free!). Sounds weird but I liked it.

We got our pottery back from our pottery day! This was one of the lil’ pinch pots I made. I still need to take pictures of the rest of the stuff. Also that’s homemade strawberry and mango sorbet. I’ve been on a sorbet kick lately.

The neighbours put up a big Santa. So cute.

Christmas was nice. It was very hot and sunny! There was tons of children, presents, meats, salads. A fun day. The waterslide was a huge hit. And I didn’t get called in to work so that’s a plus.

We’ve played three games of Concordia this week. I beat Scott every time. 😎

We went to Day 2 of the Boxing Day Test for our December #SMAJ. It was VERY hot. I lasted about 90 seconds in our actual seats before I said WE HAVE TO MOVE INTO THE SHADE. Luckily we were able to stay in the shade the rest of the time. Scott brought me lots of snacks to keep me entertained, like a toddler. It was an ok session, we saw a 6, several 4s, a run out, a century. We left a little bit early and missed seeing someone get hit by the spider-cam!!! Australia ended up winning on Day 4.

Melting but not sunburned!

Today Scott and I used our day off to cook five different curries, which we froze in little packs so we can mix and match them for future meals. We made a lamb curry, a brown lentil curry, a red lentil curry, a sweet potato curry, and a chickpea curry. All dairy free.

We’re heading to Walkerville tomorrow to crash on Donna’s campsite for a night. Should be nice weather for an ocean Polar Bear Swim on Sunday morning.

Unpictured stuff:

  • After more meetings with the designer and the builder, and many trips to random bathroom stores, we’ve finalised our design for the bathroom and laundry room renovations. Now we’re waiting for the builder to quote, and to start ordering stuff, and then hopefully construction starts in February!
  • We had our annual EH Survivors Group Christmas lunch. No one even works there any more but we still like to get together.
  • We went to trivia with my trivia friends AND Scott’s sisters. Despite having a big team, we did not even come close to winning. It was all Christmas themed… bah humbug.
  • I organised after work drinks on Christmas Eve Eve. Our boss let us leave a little bit early too. That was nice of him. We went to Otter’s Promise and I had a very sour blackberry beer.
  • Ava came to our house for a sleepover. She is 7. Scott actually ended up doing a lot of ‘solo parenting’ while I was out for drinks and gym, lol. They made cookies and watched movies, then I came home and we had dinner and played a slightly simplified Ticket To Ride. She caught a spider under a glass. She went to bed easily and the next morning we played Blokus and they iced the cookies. She is a good kid. Hyper, but well behaved! It took us the rest of the day to recover. How do people have children all the time??!
  • Christmas Eve dumplings with Sophie and Joel. We played Azul. I was a sore loser.
  • We tried a Christmas/Boxing Day video chat with the Perkin’s. Everyone was separate because the weather was so terrible in Ontario no one could travel. The connection was not the best but it was nice to have a brief chat with everyone.
  • I went to Aquafit with Ash. It was entertaining. Why is everything I do lately for old people??

We spent a few days in the Grampians at the beginning of December. We camped at Smiths Mill campground for three nights and it was very relaxing.

We stopped at Cafe Merkama in Ballarat on the way there for lunch. It was great! Love a dairy free meal especially.

Spot Scott.

Mackenzie Falls.. now with less dead bodies. They’ve blocked it off quite a bit now so you can’t even really touch the water.

I took quite a few long exposure pictures with my ND filter but when I got home and looked at them on my computer I found out that they had really strong reflections from the camera lens. Whoops.

New Holland Honeyeater?
Eastern Spinebill.
Scarlet Robin.

We saw lots of birds. Scott spotted several Scarlet Robins, which we had never seen before. And we saw a lot of types of honeyeaters. I’ve got a bunch of new pictures to add to my bird album on Facebook.

Scott must read really boring books because he falls asleep 5 minutes after he starts reading. Every time.

I entertained myself with a $5 Kmart embroidery kit.

We played games of course. It was not windy at the camp site so we could even play Wingspan Asia!

There was a campground emu. At first we thought it was cool seeing an emu so close, but he turned out to be a bit of a pest. Continuously circling the area looking for snacks.

One time he snuck up behind me and I didn’t notice until his head was right beside my head. Scared me!

The emu also did several big poos right in the middle of our site.

We went to the Balconies lookout at sunset. I thought it would be busy but we were the only ones there! Very beautiful.

Need to learn how to take better sunset pictures…

We did a fun hike up Hollow Mountain. It’s only just over 1km long but it goes straight up! But it’s way more fun than like the 1000 Steps or something because you have to scramble up rocks and do some light bouldering. Some parts felt scary! But I think it’s now in my top 5 favourite hikes (don’t ask me what the other 4 are).

Then it rained the whole last evening, even though the weather report said 0% chance of rain. I failed as a Girl Guide and didn’t make a deadman in the tent that morning and my pillow got wet. Bah. Luckily it was dry out while we packed up the next morning though.

Finished embroidery ready for trimming.

    November was an extremely busy month. It felt like every friend group was like “Let’s get together and do something before the crazy season starts”, which ended up making November equally (if not more!) busy than December. Next year I need to remember to do my early Christmas organising and baking in October!

    We started the month with a belated #SMAJ activity at the 1000 Steps. I was so excited, as you can clearly tell. I barely saw anything on the way up because I was just concentrating on getting it over with as quickly as possible. Heard a lot of bird calls though.

    The way down hurt my knees.

    We had our friends over for dinner and games. I made a vegetarian Korean meal with Korean pancake, kimchi fried rice, and some crispy gochujang tofu. Scott made some banchan to go with it.

    We played Viticulture, a rare six player game. It did take quite a long time with six people though, especially at the beginning when everyone is struggling to get their vineyard going.

    My work always has our Christmas lunch super early. This year we went to Maha and it was very delicious. Felt very lucky.

    Snails haven’t been as much of a problem in the garden any more, thank goodness. Once the zucchini started flowering I moved the tent to the salad and herbs box. So far even the uncovered stuff is thriving.

    Extremely sweaty at pickleball. The headband means I mean BUSINESS. We managed to go play pickleball most weeks.

    Post pickleball doughnuts. I had a cruller craving for weeks, but after finally getting a cruller I have decided that I don’t really like them.

    Michael and Gina taught us how to play mahjong. It was fun. Wish I could have played with my mom’s side of the family.

    Jill came for a visit! With gifts! We met her at Lune and then we went back to our house for chats. She’s about to move back to Canada so it might be a while before we see her again, although we always seem to find a way.

    We went to the Night Noodle Market. It wasn’t a very nice day out so it wasn’t very busy. We had three different types of bao, kimchi fries, and Gelato Messina mango pancake. (The picture is my friend’s Oreo ice cream concoction.

    Next knitting project after finishing my green sweater. This one is slightly more complicated but still not too bad.
    I made a resin dish with a Kmart mould. Kinda fun.

    I had a couple meetings and many many emails with Simone, the designer we hired to help us with our renovations. We ended up picking the rectangle green-y tile in the centre of the picture as our fun tile, and a grey-ish stone-y looking one for the rest, for the bathroom and laundry room. We were going to do a bit of the kitchen too but have decided it makes more sense to just leave it for if/when we redo the whole kitchen. Hopefully bathroom construction will start in February.

    Unpictured stuff:

    • Another belated #SMAJ… had sushi and went to see Armageddon Time, a movie that made me feel sad about systemic racism.
    • Discount Thai food with Discord friends.
    • Several trivia nights, including trying out a new place that only had one other team there, so our team had to split into two teams to at least try and make it a bit more competitive.
    • I went to Oasis grocery store for the first time and found pink pickled turnip which made me extremely happy.
    • We had a state election and the Labour party stayed in power, which was a relief. Yes even the state elections have ballots that are like a meter long.
    • Betty’s Burgers with friends.
    • Another crafternoon! I worked on my knitting. A lady took a picture of our group cuz she thought it was great that we were all crafting and drinking.
    • We went to New South Wales. I’ll make that its own post.

    September was all about footy finals. Melbourne and Brisbane both made it. Melbourne went into the finals in good position, but lost two weeks in a row. Brisbane went into the finals in worse position, but won two times in a row, but then unfortunately lost the preliminary final. Bummer. At least we didn’t have to spend thousands of dollars on Grand Final tickets.

    Instead we watched the Grand Final in Boronia with the family. It was a nice chill day.

    Much concentration.

    I went in to the Ian Laurie Cup feeling pretty good. I hadn’t competed in many months so I thought PBs would be inevitable. However they were… evitable. I did quite terrible. I only made my opening snatch and my opening clean and jerk. Yikes.

    I am blaming it on my bodyweight, haha. I had unintentionally lost a bit of weight a couple weeks before the comp so decided to go down to the 64kg bodyweight category. I was thinking that if I made the same total as last time but at a lower bodyweight I would go up a grade (to J, LOL). However instead I actually did much much worse, like two years regression. So now I’ve just decided to eat everything in sight and fully embrace the 71kg category.

    My next competition will be right before Christmas.

    New game! Viticulture.

    A rare 6 player game. We’ve only played it with Scott and I. First impressions are good but need to play more.

    Wingspan with new friends.

    We had a fun Queens Death Day (it’s what she would have wanted). We went to Bis’s place to play Wingspan with some of my Discord friends, and then went in to the city for dumps. It’s always great getting dumplings with big groups because you get to try so many different things.

    Sweater progress.
    Scott’s footy themed tourtiere.

    Scott made the pastry and I mostly followed this recipe for the innards, but I added small cubes of potatoes before baking to bulk it up. I was worried the pastry wouldn’t cook properly because it didn’t say you had to blind bake it, but it worked perfectly. No soggy bottoms.

    Unpictured stuff:

    • I went to a potluck at Bis’s place. It was epic, we had so much food. The highlight for me was Sally’s shawarma… she even found those pickled purple turnips that I miss so so much.
    • We got the garden ready for summer. It started off well, but then literally everything got destroyed by snails. So we had to start again, with better defences. We’re still struggling with the battle against the snails. Over the past three days we have stomped about 600 of them, not even exaggerating.
    • The designer came over to look at our house to help start our renovation process. (We want to re-do the bathroom and laundry room, and a small addition to the kitchen.) I told her my ideas, she pointed out lots of problems that we hadn’t thought of. We had to wait until she finished her masters degree so we haven’t gotten anything back yet, but it should be ramping up in the next few weeks. I am excited to see what she comes up with.
    • We went to a 1st birthday party that had 200 people invited. INSANE. We barely saw the kid hahahah. The food was great.
    • Scott’s lawn bowls season has started so he’s back to doing stuff every day. Bowls, hockey, running, garage gym, and sometimes filling in on people’s soccer teams. Busy boy.
    • Oh after about a year of waiting I finally got to see the allergy doctor to find out about solving my hayfever problems. However after a lot of testing I seem to only be allergic to birch pollen (which I already knew), olive tree pollen, and a few other random things that I wouldn’t actually be exposed to. And interestingly, not grass. There are not a lot of birch trees here so it’s a bit weird that I get so many symptoms. The doctor asked if I wanted to try grass allergy shots anyway even though I didn’t react to grass on the skin or blood tests but I decided not to because I felt like I’d spent enough money already. Not entirely sure what to do tbh. For now I’ll continue with my daily Telfast and nasal spray.
    • Scott is extremely behind in #SMAJ activities. We did do one, I don’t know which month it represented… a delicious feast of a Vietnamese meal at St Cloud after my weightlifting comp. We got the Feed Me banquet because we couldn’t make any decisions and it came with so much food we had two full lunch servings leftover for the next day.
    • Got the trivia ladies back together for a trivia night. Was a nice evening. Another establishment that has decided to not bother with dishes and serves everything in cardboard though. My enchiladas got served in a cardboard trough.