Week 30/2023: A week at home. And going out too many times.

Week of 24 July 2023

A week at home

The care factor

As I wrote last week, Slabs had a surgery that has meant he’s been off his feet all week.

The original plan was I would work from home this week to be able to help him with things he couldn’t do for himself, run errands and drive him anywhere he needed to go.

This was before my injury that started in my back and is now flaring up in various places in my right leg got so bad that sitting down for more than five minutes was agonising. I couldn’t work because I couldn’t comfortably stay in one position long enough to concentrate on anything, so I ended up getting a week of sick leave myself.

A week at home worked well because moving and doing things other than brain work has been possible, and it’s far less uncomfortable than sitting at a desk.

So carer’s leave, sick leave, whatever, this is probably the first time since I was home with a very young Kramstable that I’ve been responsible for someone other than myself. And it was a lot harder than I thought. I realised I didn’t appreciate how much running around Slabs does, with various appointments and errands, that end up being his jobs because he has the car most of the time.

Even so, a week with appointments either for me or Kramstable every single day was unusual.

A streetscape looking at a large concrete building. A purple e-scooter is propped up against a white timber building on the left. A car is turning onto the street from the right.
Taking advantage of appointments to keep up with the Street Corners project

Add my injury-induced exhaustion into the mix and it really was a tiring week.

The family tree

I spent some more time with Lil Sis clearing out our mother’s place, which is emotionally draining as it is physically.

At least with this work, there will be an end point, unlike my injury which, my catastrophising brain tells me in its darkest moments, is never going to get better.

We found a couple of interesting things, including some copies of news clippings reporting my great great grandmother’s unexpected death in 1914. She and her husband had come to Tasmania from Scotland in the 1880s, after first spending three years in South Africa. They’d originally lived in Hobart, then moved to the West Coast, Burnie and finally Wynyard.

The front cover of a book called Canberra with a photo of a dome-like concrete building
A discovery among my mother’s papers, likely from her school trip to Canberra in the 1960s

I was amused to find Ronald McDonald in our family tree, but I’m guessing that anyone with as much Scottish heritage as we do probably has someone of that name if you go far enough back.

Texas chili

This week, Toni (Honeychild) put on another driveway diner extravaganza. Toni said she’d had 21 requests for Gumbo, so chicken leg and sausage gumbo was the feature menu item. Which I might have got if it weren’t for the second item on the menu, the Chunky Texas Chili, which she describes as “chunks of beefy goodness swimming in a stew of smoky chilis, sweet peppas, and aromatics”.


A foil container of beef chili with beans and cornbread
Texas Chili with a serve of beans and cornbread on the side

For dessert, Toni delivered the most amazing Tropical Creole Carrot cake, which she says has taken her 18 years to perfect! Now that is dedication! It had not only carrot but also pineapple, pecans and coconut, and was topped with a brown butter and crème fraîche butter cream, and toasted coconut shards.

It was exquisite, and you’d be hard pressed to find a better carrot cake anywhere.

A large chunk of carrot cake topped with cream frosting and toasted coconut shards, on a blue plate
The Queen of carrot cakes

In fact, one member of the family may have said that it’s ruined any other carrot cake for them now.

I love chili beef so much! One of my life goals is to make my own version that has a secret recipe only I know, with my own personal blend of child powders and secret ingredients. My early efforts have been mediocre at best, so it’s time to take this up a notch or two and learn more about how to make this.

Stay tuned . . .

Week 30 summary

What was the best thing about this week?

The best thing was that, being at home, I was able to have short afternoon naps most days this week, which took some of the pressure off my sore leg and helped with my exhaustion.

What did I notice this week?

Spot the difference!

Two tax invoices for parking in the amounts of $4.15, on 24/7/2023 and 26/7/2023
Two parking vouchers, same street, different meter

What did I learn this week?

I googled the surgery Slabs had and freaked myself out so I won’t share that with you.

What I’m reading this week

  • The Perfectionist’s Guide to Losing Control by Katherine Morgan Schafler
  • Why Does It Still Hurt? by Paul Bieglar
  • Show Your Work by Austin Kleon
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