Wednesday, May 8, 2024

It's all about me

I've always liked this phrase and I wouldn't have a clue about its origins, the phrase being 'All over the place like a mad woman's breakfast'. That's how I feel. I seem to be forgetting the most basic things. I am so fearful of locking myself out by forgetting my keys when I go out, I am carrying them permanently in my pocket. I go to one room to get something and forget what it was. I sit down here on the computer chair to do something and forget what it was. I am not completing things. I seem to be in a permanent state of distraction.  

I am doing ok with eating. Sister has made me meals and there is still one in the freezer. I can't tell what it is now until I thaw it. Today I went by train to Katrina's Kitchen in Murrumbeena and bought four frozen meals. I've not been having enough fresh vegetables, as I would not call the vegetables in frozen food terribly fresh. I will address that. Years ago I used to prepare vegetables by cutting them up and throwing them into a very hot wok with Hoisin Sauce.

I've looked at delivered food options and Kylie's suggestion of Dineamic looks the most promising. Now I am getting Dineamic ads galore on YouTube. Maybe four meals a week would do.   

There were two steaks in the freezer, with one cut in half being enough for us. I will cook half of one tonight with frozen potato chips and I've already made a Greek salad which looks to be enough for two. There were fetta cubes in olive oil in the fridge but firstly I came across fetta in the freezer, so I thawed that out earlier. I took it out of the fridge today and it is very crumbly, clearly for sprinkling. I thought if it reaches room temperature, it won't crumble as well so I put it back in the fridge until I put the salad together. I don't know if I am right about that, but it made sense to me. Too much salad won't go to waste. I suppose I can cook simple food but I don't want to. I am not interested in cooking and it is so time consuming. Ray cooked for us most of our years. He was a terrific and instinctive cook and his food presentation was excellent. S'cuse I. I just remembered Ray used to rub olive oil into the steak before cooking it. Done.

Some packet pepper dipping sauce for the steak, frozen chips, cooked of course, a nice salad dressing and ground pepper. I will keep cooking until fresh and frozen food are used up. The steak cooked in the air fryer was great and the salad was fine. The chips could have done with a minute or so less. Presentation, poor. Tasty, filling and a normal home cooked meal, tick. I am not going to make a habit of it, but I have more steaks to eat.

I am not sure about my financial situation. Ray had much less in his superannuation where his income stream account to top up his old age pension than I thought. When we would send a child $50 for their birthday, it cost us $25 each. Now, it will cost me $50. I know a lot of you know this already. I will have to pay all the bills on my own now. We had paid about $10,000 as a deposit for recarpeting and repainting and I just don't know if I can do it my own, let alone the cost, double the deposit. Emptying book shelves and other shelves would be too hard for me on my own. Maybe I could get a packer. Organiser man was sympathetic and said, in your own time and we'll work it out. He's a nice guy and lives in our building. He asked me to visit him and have a drink. Closet gay? Maybe but I'm sure he not after me and I am not after him. 

45 comments:

  1. Oh Andrew. My heart goes out to you. Take it easy, take it slowly. And a packer sounds like an excellent idea.

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    1. Thanks EC. I have to make my new life work for me.

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  2. I think that feeling of disorientation and discombobulation is natural at a time like this. The financial worries must play a part in that too but you seem to be coping well with the sudden promotion to Chief Cook. I would certainly eat that steak dinner.

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    1. JayCee, I just need to know what the state of my finances will be. I think I have enough money but how will paying all the bills myself work out. It is all so unknown. Do I need to pull my belt in or not.

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  3. That confusion is exactly where people in your situation are at this point. It's only been a few days. It's important to attend to your meals, however it works for you. You're doing fine.

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    1. Thanks Boud, but there is something I am not doing right and I am not sure yet what it is.

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  4. I agree, it can be overwhelming; take it one step, one task at a time and try not to get stressed over it. I tried that bit in the days after my dad passed and I wasn't very good at it, but my stress level is easing up.

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    1. Bob, it is quite true, time heals and it is day by day, slowly.

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  5. I think that it is best to just give the dust a while to settle. Ray's death is a paradigm shift for you. Ease into it. If you don't think you can, don't. You don't need any more stress in your life right now. But I am glad to see that you're figuring out the food situation.

    It will come right, but it won't happen over night. Thinking of you.

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    1. Debby, wise words, as I would expect. Thanks.

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  6. Stalker
    Andrew
    If you have an accountant/ Financial planner they may be able to advise you on how to set up a new system that works well for you .You might be able to change the income stream to a draw down on .Industry Funds serve us well and our FP organised our super to have access to part pensions. and pension reductions on health power gas medicine etc. it’s the concessions that make a world of difference to bills .
    Between us we have worked 80 plus years so we have paid more than enough tax into the government coffers. I didn't receive part pension until I was 74 …3 years ago.because my partner was still working .
    By the way in the Prahran market there is a Greek shop that makes wonderful fresh pre prepared salads vegetables moussaka stuffed capsicums etc . You can buy fresh in small quantities
    Also if you buy a saucepan steamer you can just chop up fresh veg and throw them all in together. Like you I haven’t cooked in a long time so I feel your pain
    Apparently air fryers do a range of tasks as well, even roasts

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    1. Stalker, I do know what to with my yet to be received inheritance from my mother, into my super, then transferred to my income stream. R's money will help. Logic tells me I'll be ok, but I so dislike uncertainty. It's a good idea to look at Prahran Market. We have a microwave vegetable steamer but I don't know how it works. We should still have one of those fold out like a flower bloom pot steamer too. I have a fully equipped kitchen. I'm doing well with the air fryer so far. I'll never be up to cooking a roast though. That's what pubs are for.

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    2. Roasts are easy, put the meat and vegetables in a pan, into the oven on a low heat take it out 3-4 hours later, make gravy. Maybe baste once or twice during the cooking.

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  7. Packing up your shelves ready for painting sounds like something you could post on Airtasker.
    As I've pottered this morning I remembered that they used to say not to renovate a house until you've lived in it for a year. I feel like maybe the general idea of a good long delay before making any big decisions could allow you space to consider what you want from your newly single life.
    Your steak and chip dinner looks fabulous. Last night I had Aldi potato bake and frozen crumbed fish. It was delicious and simple after a long and difficult day

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    1. Ah Kylie, we have used Airtasker once. That's a good idea. The meal you had last night would suit me very well. Sorry you had rough day. Maybe today was better.

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  8. Get that wok going again! It's so easy man. Chopped up onion, pepper, mushrooms and pak choi plus some chicken pieces and pre-cooked noodles then toss in some soy sauce and maybe a pouch of chow mein sauce. You might surprise yourself. Oh and don't forget some oil in the wok before you get cracking.

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    1. YP, I am doing better than I thought with food. Your recipe sounds quite tasty and worth a try.

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  9. The meal looks fine and at least you are eating not wasting away in your grief. Sorry to hear of the financial troubles though. $50 seems like a lot for a child's birthday. I'm sure they will understand when you give less in future. YP's idea for the wok sounds good, get it going again and surprise yourself. I have no suggestions for the recarpeting and repainting. Can it be cancelled and you just live with what you have?

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  10. Oh god Andrew so sorry to hear you are confused and all over the place emotionally. Of course you are. You lost the love of your life. You may consider grief counselling if and when you can manage it. It saved my sanity (and perhaps life balance) when I undertook it. It helps to cough it all up to a kind professional stranger, gain a perspective, deal with the magnitude one session at a time.
    You are doing so well with your meals so far. Staying strong. It's so great you are writing about it. It soothes.
    XO
    WWW

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    1. Thank you WWW. I understand how helpful counselling could be for some, but I don't think it is for me. There is really nothing to say to anyone aside from going over that evening's events. I can freely express myself here, as I have been doing. For thousands of years people have lost life partners. I am so sad about my loss, but I won't be the first and nor the last. The logic works, even if it doesn't kill the present pain.

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  11. For a month after the family funeral, I did no cooking at all. One glass bowl with salad, cold salmon or cold meat broken up into the salad, hard boiled eggs tossed in, and sliced bread and cheese on the side. No oven to clean, one glass bowl to wash, one fork and no dishes.

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    1. Hels, that's not a bad meal in my opinion. I will try your recipe. Stay well and remember all the good times.

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    2. cheese chunks IN the salad works as well.

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  12. It's a mighty big change for you Andrew.

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  13. I can't begin to imagine how you must feel. I wrote that yesterday and have been pondering it since and I can still think of no more suitable words to add.

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    1. That's nice Graham. While I have expressed emotion in the subsequent days, I am not now and I wonder why.

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    2. I understand Andrew. What I didn't understand at the time was I was physically ill from a series of losses and the counsellor clarified for me that a deep loss opens up all the other losses in one's life. And I had never heard that before and my therapist encouraged me to revisit them all. I will never be able to thank him enough for dragging me out of the pit of despair.
      XO
      WWW

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    3. My youngest brother cracked into a bad way four nights ago. As he described, Ray's death tipped him over the edge and he cried and cried about family members who have died. He was a terrible mess apparently and did not work the next day, and then felt guilty about that for letting people down. Australian men were brought up to hold in their emotions. I hope that has changed now. I think it has.

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  14. Also a time to potter round delicatessen shops, markets and those 'foreign' shops that have delicious things you have never tried. Also restaurants but perhaps with family, too lonely on your own for now. Or forever which is an afterthought.

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    1. Thelma, time is something I have that Ray no longer does. Properly utilising my time is a whole other matter. I think I could dine alone in an average restaurant. It's early days and at the moment, I don't want to.

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  15. I hadn’t realised you were going ahead with the paint/carpet plan. As Kylie mentioned - live with it for a while longer until you’re sure that’s what you want. Yes it’s a new life but don’t throw away the old one, with all the memories you loved so much.
    If you’re concerned about the finance aspect as well as the actual physical part of packing - I’d be inclined to just postpone the idea for a while.
    Do any of the nearby restaurants do a delivery service - treat yourself to an ‘eat out’ meal and savour it at home

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    1. Cathy, yes, there is no rush for decorating. Oh yes, they all deliver, but I can easily go out an pick up the food. I haven't even ordered a pizza yet. I've had a couple of meals out with family and a lunch with family. I received a lot of family attention at the time, but they all live an hour, and plus away, and have their own busy lives. I will see them but not often.

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  16. There is kind and good advice above. In particular giving yourself time, slowing up..........allowing yourself your feelings..........I know that when you are in the first stages of loss and grief so much does not make sense and the feelings are so raw that sometimes we do everything at top speed, activity keeps our mind off the pain for a while. Inevitably there are practical tasks that have to be addressed and you are doing that admirably, but cut yourself some slack, treat yourself with care and take help whenever it's offered.
    Alison in Wales x

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    1. Thanks Alison. My blog has some very wise and caring readers.

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  17. So much good advice from everyone that there is nothing I can add other than to agree with everyone that you are doing so well, Andrew.

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    1. Pat, collective wisdom and care has been very helpful.

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  18. Of course it's all a HUGE adjustment. I think Debby is right on the money -- ease into this new situation and let the dust settle. You'll get a better sense of what you can and can't do, and what really needs to be done. Hugs!

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    1. Steve, some things must be done. Others can wait and wait they will. Thank you.

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  19. Hugs, Andrew; that's all I can offer.

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    1. I've had quite a few Darla, and they are comforting.

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  20. It's still early days. You do have to eat but most things can wait. I'm in the process of setting up my pension payments and beneficiaries, it's so stressful because I want to help out my husband if I die before him, but we've also only been together for twelve years and I want to go to my daughter too. Difficult conversations, which I hate.
    Sending hugs, to a man across the ocean, whom I don't even know, but I do know suffering. Take care Andrew.

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    1. That does sound a bit complicated Pixie, but I'm sure professionals would know how to go about it, and attempt to make it challenge proof.

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  21. That sounds complicated to figure out finances and how to proceed. Your dinner looks really good.

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    1. Also, when I feel distracted and not in the moment or too tired I wear my keys around my neck.

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    2. Strayer, keys around my neck would so annoy me.

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