When I peered forward into the month ahead, I felt equal parts excited and exhausted. From a camping day trip to a Thanksgiving Feast, a wedding and a Portuguese Dinner Party – every weekend was already scheduled, planned and packed to the brim.
My high hopes of getting into the garden failed to eventuate and it still looks like a wasteland out there (less so thanks to my Mum who sneakily went to town on the waist-high weeds while looking after Harvey one morning).
I’ve attempted to get my head around Christmas early so that we can enjoy the festivities and not have to venture too often into the chaotic abyss that is the shopping centre at this time of year. Thought we may have set up our Christmas tree a little early. Seriously, how can it be that this year is almost over?
What I’m Reading
The Complete Enneagram: 27 Paths to Greater Self-Knowledge (Dr. Beatrice Chestnut)
If you are conversant with the Enneagram and want to go deeper, this is definitely the book for you. For me, it was the infamous one that made me realise I wasn’t a Type 1 after all, after discovering the hidden depths of the sub-types after having glossed over this information in the past. I feel like so many people must mistype because they simply don’t realise the distinctions in the sub-types. I found the arrow section a little confusing at first but ultimately hopeful because it showed me that under stress I can go to the health of the Type 8 instead of the dark side and I have been using that knowledge to my advantage ever since.
The Little Bookshop on the Seine (Rebecca Raisin)
I’m always in for a light read, particularly if the book takes me to Paris. When Sarah Smith, bookshop owner in the small town of Ashford, gets the opportunity to relocate to Paris for a season to work there instead, she seizes the day and finds a lot out about herself and her relationships. This book inspired me to start learning French and I loved how the author wove in a lot of the French cultural elements as part of the story. I thought the romance and relationship element was a little bit forced and didn’t really resonate with the resolution of the story, however.
What I’m Cooking
November saw us finishing up with Portuguese cuisine (only to revive it for the Feast a few weeks later). Then we travelled to Croatia and Serbia to reconnect with our roots, finishing off with Brazilian food which has been perfect for the sizzling weather we have been experiencing lately. I’m definitely a fan of chimichurri.
Here are some photos of our experiments:
What I’m Watching
Some friends recommended this Netflix made Australian sci-fi drama and it drew us right in. Beginning with the inexplicable event of a number of people breaking out of their graves, the show unfolds with the relationships of the ‘risen’ and the attempts of police officer, James Hayes to uncover the mystery of what is going on (with a few more complications than he first anticipated, some very close to home). The series is well done, interesting and a little creepy at times but there is a lot to like about it. So great to see some sites that we recognise too – like the Empyre Hotel in Castlemaine and other Victorian locations.
What I’m Listening To
One of my favourite episodes this month was with Matt Carter, a self-confessed Enneagram skeptic who spars with Ian about the whole underpinnings of the Enneagram, then answers some probing questions to discover if he does in fact fit a type. The whole episode was engaging, humorous and just fun to listen to. I also listened to the panel discussion with Type 5s and felt like I gained a better understanding of the one type that I really didn’t understand before.
The Simple Show
I slowed down on the podcasts this month, but found some good insights in the ‘Love Where You Live’ episode. I resonated the most with Kendra’s experience of living close to where she grew up and valuing the connections of the past and family.
This month I just listened to the one – Alex Pang ‘Why You Get More Done When You Work Less’ and came to appreciate again the value of slowing down and naps. Yay for naps.
Dave and I were inspired and amazed by the depth of insight and conclusions from Jonathan Haidt in the episode ‘The Psychology of Self-Righteousness’. Haidt is a Professor of Ethical Leadership and has an incredibly nuanced view of the underpinnings of both conservative and liberal thought and how both ends of the spectrum need each other for a healthy, thriving society.
It has been a huge month of study for Dave with his first assignment and exam due for his Masters of Business Administration. He has done an exceptional job in executing these tasks, plus a demanding full time job and still ensuring we feel loved and valued. He also went into major action mode trying to figure out the logistics of our car problems (a situation that took far more effort than we had expected). We hope to finally pick up our new car over the weekend. It was so great to host his Year 12 Philosophy students for a Woodfired Pizza Party this month, getting to put faces to names I had heard a lot about.
I’m not sure if it is too early, but we introduced Eli to the bottomless world of Minecraft this month. So far it hasn’t led to too many tussles to get the iPad back when his allotted time is up, and the removal of screen time privileges sure works as a great threat if we need to get him to stop misbehaving, so I’m guessing it all works out in the end? At the moment he loves dancing, dressing up, reading anything related to Lego Ninjago and playing soccer. He has done an exceptional job at school in levelling up with some of his learning goals.
Anything Eli does, Hudson wants to copy – from the ‘readers’ he sits at the bench with each afternoon, to ‘writing’ his letters, the mini-me costumes he puts on, and the cry of ‘spinjitzu’ whenever he is overcome by the ninja way. He is very interested in cooking and asks me almost daily if we can bake something together. He is becoming quite adept at whisking, stirring, kneading and anticipating what utensils and apparatus we need for the next step. I took Hudson for a 4 year old Kinder orientation session and couldn’t find him anywhere at one point, apparently he had just joined the line with the other Kinder kids in session and went to sit on the mat with them inside instead. I think he will be fine next year.
Ivy has levelled up… in supreme independence. She is just at that point where she has enough knowledge about what she wants to do and how she wants to do it, and loudly lets us know when our plans clash with that. Otherwise she can be very sweet, creative, cheeky and funny. Ivy loves doing ‘yoda’ with me and her favourite word at the moment is ‘tos’ (because). She will often link strange reasons to why something is happening and can launch off into long-winded explanations with very little prompting.
Harvey suddenly grew up and it has been a little bittersweet. From being able to sit up and play now to making his will more known, he is at his most content when he is outside or watching his brothers and sister stream past him in the middle of a high-energy game. He has four teeth now and loves to laugh.
We had so much fun this month with trips, parties and outings. I think November is becoming my favourite month.
We took a day trip to the Kallista property of some friends for some Cup Weekend Camping:
We went to cheer on my Dad for finishing a 100km bike race:
Hosted a Good Pizza Party for Dave’s Year 12 Philosophy Students:
Threw a Thanksgiving Feast to say goodbye to Open House and relive almost a decade’s worth of memories:
Dave and I had an incredible time at an epic wedding at Lyrebird Falls. The food was absolutely delicious and the ceremony was one that will live on in our memories forever (not least because the celebrant had a near disaster with the unfortunate combination of a candle and her hair). Getting to spend a night sans kids and hanging out with great friends was a huge highlight for us.
To end off the month we threw a Portuguese Feast for the first instalment of The Enchanted Table:
Ah November you will be remembered fondly. We squeezed every last drop out of you and it was the perfect prelude to the Christmas season that is soon to descend. I’m looking forward to the craziness of the year winding to a close, trying out some new traditions, getting together with family and friends and doing a whole lot more cooking. Bring it on!