We caught up on three #SMAJ activities this month.
Our April #SMAJ was go karting at Le Mans. I have been suggesting this for ages!! We each invited a few friends and it was very fun. Actually way more extreme than I expected.. the karts went very fast and I was skidding and screeching around the corners. Afterwards my hands were shaking so bad I couldn’t even check the results on my phone. I felt like I could clean and jerk 150kg. SO MUCH ADRENALINE.
May #SMAJ was the Kings Birthday footy game. Melbourne v Collingwood with 80k+ spectators. I expected Melbourne to lose, but we didn’t! And Scott brought hotdogs in a thermos so we had a hot snack.
And June #SMAJ was a steak dinner. I had eye fillet and Scott had beef ribs. A good fueling comp week meal.
I competed at the Alby Dutton comp. It had been a long time since I last competed and I have gotten a bit stronger since then so I was feeling pretty confident. It started off really well, I snatched 46, 49 and 51kg. I’ve never even tried 51kg in training so that was a fun surprise! A 3kg comp PB. Then I clean and jerked 56, and attempted 60kg twice but didn’t make the jerks. Overall it was a good day, but I do with I made another clean and jerk because that would have been a very very good day. It’s hard to put it all together at the same time though I guess.
I took everything out of my craft station, reorganised it, and put it all back nice and tidy. A satisfying project.
More footy! Scott got given a few tickets to the Brisbane v St Kilda game at Marvel so we took Charlie. I brought my knitting. The seats had cushions and we were very close to the St Kilda coaches box, which Charlie enjoyed.
We finished painting the bedrooms and the kitchen cupboard. The house was a real disaster area for a couple weekends. It wasn’t very fun… those two rooms felt like equal as much work as the whole rest of the house. It was very cold so the paint didn’t dry quickly and the closets have soooo many different surfaces. However it is all done now and I even managed to sell some of the extra Aquanamel on marketplace. Everything is back in place now and we have no plans to touch anything else in this house for a long time. Hopefully.
Again lots of pickleball and knitting club.
I sold my broken down e-bike and bought a new secondhand e-bike off marketplace. The lady who was selling it was delightful. She used to do comedy in Melbourne, Scott recognized her from TV! Now she makes sourdough and she gave us three delicious loaves of bread with the bike, haha. Having an e-bike has really helped us get away with only having one car for so long.
Jess came for a visit and we went to see Spiderman with Brett as well. That movie seemed like it was really fun to make. Made me want to draw.
I am vowing to make the second half of the year more exciting. We’re off to Canada in a few days, which will be great. And now that we’re done all the house stuff we should be able to do more fun stuff again when we get back. Looking forward to it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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??
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
OK well in October I took plenty of pictures! Long post ahead!
We have been playing lots of pickleball again. I even got an upgraded paddle! We have been playing with the Bayside Pickleball Club and have been improving every week.
Another one of Scott’s (belated) #SMAJ activities was dinner at Serai in the city. It’s a fancy Filipino restaurant with a lot of stuff cooked over wood fire. It was all lovely if you didn’t think about the price. We had coral trout, broccolini, calamari, and hashbrowns with peanut sauce. The highlight for me was the dairy free dessert called Taho. It is made with soy ice cream, brown sugar syrup and tapioca pearls. The girl told us to stir it all up. Delicious!
Our friends Jen and Robert ran a private pottery workshop for a small group of friends. It was epic. We started with making some pinch pots, then did a bit of wheel throwing, and then did some large pieces where we painted coloured clay onto newspaper and then transferred it onto the slabs of clay which we layed over big molds. We got to pick what glaze we would like them to put on each piece and they are going to finish them all up for us. I can’t wait to see the results! It was a lovely afternoon.
We stopped in Box Hill on the way home for dinner. We randomly picked this Uyghur restaurant called Dolan On Silk Road because it seemed to be quite busy, and it turned out to be great! We ordered this massive lamb and bread platter which had a nice flavour and lots of vegetables and sauce. Fun to try a new cuisine. Everything the people around us were eating looked great too.
My work did a Medical Imaging Bake Off and it was pretty much the best day ever. I made a lemon blueberry yogurt cake that was decent but not prize-worthy. It was so moistly that the icing sugar I sprinkled on top got absorbed almost immediately.
I tried nearly everything. Even though we took tiny slivers of each thing it still put everyone into a sugar coma.
I went birdwatching with a bunch of oldies in Corinella. It was a weekday outing so I think the age group was extra skewed towards… retired. I didn’t get any good pictures but we did see lots of birds. The highlight for me was the Crested Shriketit, as I had never see one before and they’re pretty cool looking. It was nice to get out on a particularly lovely day.
I thought the birdwatching was going to finish at 12pm like it said on the website so I didn’t bring a packed lunch. Ohhhh I was so jealous of everyone’s delicious looking sandwiches when they stopped for a picnic lunch before continuing on to site number two and three!! Instead I bailed after site two and got Maccas on the way home. This is what a burger looks like if you ask for +2 pickles. Pickle overload!!
I did a quick volunteer session on the computer at the tiny girls session of Victorian Senior Championships. Always inspiring. It rained a lot.
Speaking of rain. Snails absolutely decimated our garden. We pretty much had to start everything again after snails ate all of our seedlings (two coriander, four cucumber, three eggplant…) The snails ate $15 of marigold flowers in one night.
After that we ordered the green garden box tent and these plastic cones which have been helping. Mesh food covers also help. And every night after dark we go out and stomp snails. In one week we killed NINE HUNDRED SNAILS. Our backyard isn’t even that big!!! They were literally everywhere, all over the sides of the garden boxes, the ground, the side of the house, the fence. It’s like the grossest Easter egg hunt ever. If you want to see a disgusting picture of mass amounts of gross snails, click here.
We are possibly winning though, because this week there have only been a few every night. We’re hoping the constant rain has ended and we’ll be able to uncover stuff soon, because we also need to let the bees in for pollination.
Gardening is hard. I can’t believe the first year we basically just chucked everything in and did almost no maintenance and everything grew very well.
I got quite a bit of hair cut off. It’s a bit crazy. But I re-remembered that it actually only takes like 2 minutes to blow dry my hair when it’s this short so I’ve got it semi under control again.
Doreen have me a couple snapper which I attempted to filet with my fish knife from last Christmas. I think i did ok considering they were quite small! I also learned how to gut the fish this time too.
I went to watch Scott play hockey before going to a Diwali Halloween party. Diwaloween.
I tried candy corn for the first time and I thought it was fine? I don’t get the hate. The party had a lot of delicious food.
Rosemarie mailed me some clothing and some cascatelli!!! She is the best! We had it with a sausage pasta and it really did have great forkability, sauceability and toothsinkability! If I lived in USA I would use it as my go-to pasta for sure.
True love is Scott making me a tiny container of gravy to go with my lunch tourtiere when he hates the stuff.
Korean gochujang bbq short ribs. They took 4 hours in the oven!! Worth it, this was delicious. Can’t link the recipe because it’s from Nagi’s new cookbook.
I finished my sweater!!! It’s super warm and cozy. I just finished blocking it so I’ll take better pictures next time I’m home during the day. The forecast for this week is 25-29°C… so might not get much use out of it any time soon.
Unpictured stuff! This is the post that never ends!
I risked doing three different activities on an on call day: an online CPD seminar mostly about brain PET, afternoon weightlifting training, and post-training pizza with weightlifting pals. Thankfully I didn’t get called in and got to do everything!
That same day Scott went down to Tarwin for his cousin’s wife’s birthday bash. I enjoyed my alone-y evening.
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.
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.
A rare 6 player game. We’ve only played it with Scott and I. First impressions are good but need to play more.
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.
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.
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.