Friday, January 28, 2022

Around here

How is everyone going these days?  I feel like we are all holding our breath until the real start of the New Year and that January 2021 is just a practise run for the real thing.  Here in Brisbane the next 7 days is expected to be the peak of Omicron and the week after that is probably not much better.  As a result, the School Year in Queensland has been delayed by two weeks however Grade 11 [my daughter's grade] and Grade 12 will do one week of online remote learning and then all the schools go back on the 7th February, 2021.

I had my booster shot last week and the next day woke up with a runny nose and by 3pm needed to lie down as I was really tied and went to bed early.  The day after that I woke up, no runny nose and back to normal.  I didn't have any of that with my first two doses of AstraZeneca and I got Moderna as the booster.  I feel good to have had my booster shot and of course I'm not really going anywhere or socializing to stay safe.  We were going to have an Australian Day BBQ however I decided it wasn't wise to do that this year and will wait until next January, 2023 and hopefully things have settled down to somewhat normal lives.

My photography course has started and we have had two zoom meetings so far and there are 7 of us in the group.  I am also in another photography group which starts next Monday although the assignments are a little difficult because my kids aren't keen to be in any photos any more.  The assignment needs to be new work based on the topic for that week and will need to have people in them.  I did tell my kids I'm doing the course and will need them to be in my photos for my assignments so we will see how that goes.  I miss the days when I was taking photos of them everyday playing outside, drawing, painting, jumping on the trampoline with the hose or cooking.  It's been a huge adjustment as the parenting gig changes the older they get and my creative happy place is taking photos of them which is few and far between these days.  I hope you are all staying safe and you have a good week.

Here's a few photos from the weekly prompts from one group.

Week 1 - At the table

Week 2 - First Light

Week 3 - Flat Lay

Week 4 - Through the Window

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Around here

Well what a start to 2022 it has been in Brisbane in the State of Queensland has been taken over with Covid - some Delta - mostly Omicron.  We opened our borders on the 13th December having zero cases and 30 days later we have had over 130,000 cases and that's probably understated given how difficult it is to get a PCR test and/or get your hands on a RAT test [Rapid Antigen Test].  It's hard to believe preparation for this stage of the Pandemic has been left to the last minute with RAT tests virtually unavailable and PCR clinics turning people away and closing at midday when they are supposed to be open to 8pm at night.  It's just crazy ridiculous.  So far my immediate family have been safe although I have been staying at home and not socializing with anyone.  We are waiting on PCR test results for my son as he came into contact with two confirmed cases.  This is day 6 and still no test results however luckily no symptoms so staying home for that time being well, whilst boring, is better than being sick.

It's interesting because for the past two years even in NSW & VIC even though they had lots of Covid infections lots of people didn't catch Covid where as now all those people are catching it due to Omicron.  I'm getting my booster shot this afternoon and will be happy when that's done for further protection.  My son is booked in for his booster shot in February and my daughter won't be able to get her booster as she is under 18 however she is double vaxed.

Next week is the start of my Photography Course which runs for 14 weeks which is the business side of things, social media, Customer Relationship Management [CRM] system, all the back end of stuff.  I'm very excited to be doing this and the last couple of weeks because of Covid I was worried that I wouldn't be able to take photos of people however I turned it into a positive spin knowing for the next 14 weeks I'm focusing on setting up my systems and hopefully Omicron would have gone through everyone by then and we may be out the other side.  Regardless I'm so excited for this course to start which is all online.

I also went back to WW [Weight Watchers] mid December after a 6 year break and the new Personal Points program is their best yet.  In the past food was given a points value and based on your height, age and weight you were given a number of points to spend in a given day.  The new program works a tailored program out for you based on foods you love or eat regularly.  You have "zero point" food so it encourages you to eat those healthier options first.  The app is so easy to use and has a bar code scanner on it so when I was at the supermarket you can scan a product to see how many points per serve an item is.  You can do the "digital version only" ie the app or you can do the app and a meeting which they now call a workshop or you can do personal one on one [I'm assuming this is online] with a consultant.  I'm doing the app and the meeting so I go once a week get weighed and listen to a 30 minute talk.  The meeting is a 5 min drive from home so really close.  My sister and I are doing it together and my friend just joined and her 2 friends as well.

I started off on the 1st December, 2021 doing a "21 day circuit breaker" for myself to not have any chocolate [I love chocolate], biscuits, cake, chips, lollies, ice cream from the 1st December to the 21st December so I could enjoy Christmas and also break that habit of enjoying those things.  That gave me a really good start and then joined WW on the 16th December, 2021.  I feel so good already and I'm in the right head space to do this.

I bought the cookbook and it has a QR code at the bottom of each recipe so when I scan the bar code it will give me the amount of points on my plan vs my friend who might have a different plan.  I think that is so clever and I'm loving being back on track eating healthy.  Our food is 90% healthy generally it was those bad habits of the treats that I relied on.  I can still have chocolate or an ice cream if I want, however I'm staying away from those things until I'm closer to my goal.  It will take many months however I have come a long way in the 6 weeks since I made a commitment to my health.

Our Christmas tree is still up and as you know it went up the week of Christmas however before I take it down today I did some very slow shutter movement pics which I saw someone else do so I gave it a shot.  Here's some of the Christmas Tree photos for 2021.  The light streaks are the Christmas Lights.  I hope you are all keeping safe and all we can do is take one day at a time and that time is today.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Around here - Big Patch Quilt

In August 2020 I started a "Big Patch Quilt" inspired by Hopewood Homes beautiful bespoke "Big Patch Quilts".  Susan's garden is also stunning and her IG feed is beautiful so I encourage you to check it out.  This week I finally got back to this quilt and it's been lovely to have the machine out and sewing again.  I decided to put on "Sea Change" on Netflix starting from the beginning on the TV in the background.  Back in the day when I was single and going out we used to stay home on a Saturday night to watch Sea Change at 7.30 pm and then go out afterwards.  It's such a lovely Australian Show, down to earth no frills.  I have a photo of the actual town this was filmed in however it was pouring rain and the photo was taken up on a hill inside our 4WD.  It's a photo of the bridge at Barwon Heads, Victoria and the bridge is a big part of the Sea Change story as the town is cut off with the bridge needing repairs [in the TV show].  

Back to my quilt, I've finally finished sewing my rows one way on the quilt and now I need to start sewing the other way to make squares then I'll need to bind it.  In these photos I've added another row of sewing in between the larger spaces.  In 2022 I want to do some more crafts and finish this quilt off and also a crochet knee blanket that needs to be finished as well.


Friday, December 31, 2021

Around here - 1 second everyday in 2022

Gosh what a year it's been and up until the Queensland borders opened on the 13th December, 2021 things were pretty okay.  With interstate visitors bringing Covid to Queensland even though they have tested negative 72 hours before it's been scary to watch.  I haven't really gone anywhere and don't particularly want to go anywhere.  My friends 20 year old daughter got Covid a couple of days before Christmas and the whole family went into isolation.  Lots of people whom I follow IG in NSW & VIC over the past couple of years haven't caught Covid themselves even though it was everywhere and now these people are catching Covid.  With isolation it's hard to know how "normal" things are supposed to be really.  Coming from a State that had no Covid and when we did, it was managed extremely well however now Covid is everywhere in Queensland because the borders were open 2 weeks before Christmas.  My whole family is double vaxed and we are booked in for our Booster shots however I still don't want to get it regardless.  Today the numbers in Sydney were over 21,000 and yesterday they were 12,000 no wonder they are bringing it to Queensland.  So 2022 is going to look very different for us here however it's out of our control and all we can do is try and stay safe and get through one day at a time.

Now onto some more happier things my niece in Perth is going to do the "1 Second Everyday" video which at the end of the year you end up with a highlight real of 6 minutes.  As tomorrow is the 1st January I've decided to do this too and encouraging my kids to do it as well.  Elise Joy has a blog post on some tips and tricks to get you started with the main one to remind you of is to shoot all your video in landscape mode.  Here is another blog post of Elise's.

My son got his ATAR results which were amazing and has an early acceptance into the University of Queensland to do the course he wants.  I'm so proud of him and he's going to have a great year and being 18 he is now officially an adult and getting lots more mail as he applies for things like the Electoral roll etc.  As a parent for 18 years it's second nature and hard to "un-parent" at times and both my kids get annoyed when I offer advice on certain things because they are young adults and know stuff.  They both gave me beautiful handmade Christmas Cards with lovely words which means the world to me.

We had a nice Christmas with the weather being 26 degrees and it ended up raining around 1pm.  Christmas in the sub-tropics is generally hot so it was a nice change.  We had our usual prawns, ham, rolls, salads and pudding which was enjoyed by all.  I finally got all the decorations on the tree on the Monday however all the extras and my beautiful silver swag didn't make an appearance this year.  Next year I'll get everything out mid November to enjoy it all however with lots of things going on with end of year graduation, schoolies etc. part time jobs the kids weren't home to decorate when we would normally do it.  There's always next year.  Hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas.  Happy New Year here's to 2022.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Around here - Christmas Lights

What a year it's been and our Christmas Tree is finally decorated.  We popped out to see one of our favourite Streets Christmas Lights this week and took a few photos.  There was a car there completely decorated in Christmas Lights complete with a Christmas Tree on the boot.  It looked so good, completely illegal of course and the owner was in a Santa Suit - in Queensland that means red shorts vs long pants.  Sienna reminded me we had seen this car here a few years back.  Also she said that apparently it's the last year of these lights because of complaints about traffic for this particular Street.  I've seen many Christmas streets over the years and traffic and this isn't one of them.  So sad that simple pleasures comes down to complaining neighbours and given this street has about 8 houses either side of the Street do it every year it's not as if one house in the middle isn't participating.  Enough said I was glad we made it again to one of our favourite streets.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Around here

Wow it's less than two weeks until Christmas and we haven't even got our Christmas Tree up.  Last year we put it up mid November after a crazy 2020 Covid year.  This year we have had other important things on like formals, graduation, schoolies and my sister went on holidays and we normally make an afternoon of it as our family tradition.  Both my kids have part time jobs and social lives so this year we haven't been able to get a time to suit everyone.  Hopefully we'll be putting it up today or tomorrow.  I have a few friends who were in the same boat that we were all late this year for the same reasons as us with the end of the school year and our kids graduating High School it's been a few full on weeks.  I also now have an 18 year old...sounds so weird even saying that however I am a very proud Mum that's for sure.

Preparing for Christmas lunch I will be making this wonderful savory pasta salad which we make at Christmas time.  I also make Chocolate Belgian Slice which was from a Woman's Weekly recipe about 30 years ago.  I make it once a year at Christmas time which is always a treat.  When I first started making it I didn't have a food processor and had to put the biscuits into a brown paper bag and bash it with a rolling pin which was quite difficult to get all the pieces the same.  Now it takes a couple of seconds in the Thermomix and makes a lovely biscuit base.

Here's a recipe to make home made Christmas ornaments which are super easy.  Here's some lovely Christmas Lights we visited in 2019 and some from 2020.

I have been following Gillian Roe from "Tales of a Happy House" for over a year now and her embroidery projects are amazing.  This year she did a "Stitch a Day" of thing in her life.  She has now completed November so take a look at her latest pictures and blog post.   In 2020 she did a "Lockdown Sampler" which you can read about here.  This was her family's trip to New York Sampler which she did before Covid arrived.  This was her earlier Holiday Sampler to France and her Summer Holiday Diary.  The reason I love all of these artworks is they are personal, it reminds her of the holiday and trips and it's also slow crafting so taking time to sit and embroider.  I just love her work and she does beautiful crochet and crafting.

I read this article on Motherhood which I thought was very interesting about how we see ourselves during the day.

We had Billy visiting last week as my friends went on holidays.  He comes every school holidays and he's such a good dog and this is like his second home and he's very comfortable here.

I haven't made any sourdough bread for over a month so refreshed my starter and made a loaf today.  You can read about the master recipe I use here.

Some home grown coriander [cilantro] as a gift for my friend instead of flowers.

Afternoon light in the lounge room. 

Friday, November 26, 2021

Around here

Wow hasn't this year gone fast and what a crazy 2 years it's been living with a pandemic.  There's only 4 weeks until another Christmas and we'll have to put up our Christmas Tree next week.  Both my kids have finished school for the year with my son Graduated High School which is a huge milestone.  They both had formals and looked amazing and had a great time.

We've had lots of rain in Brisbane for the past 2 weeks and I think next week will also be the same so my lawn is looking very long and in need of a mow.  I have already started the Christmas Shopping and need to get a few more things for the kids.  It doesn't really seam like Christmas at the moment however when the Christmas Lights start on the 1st December we always go and see a few displays and that really gets you us in the Christmas spirit.  Check out this blog post with some "December Daily photos" from years back we always had the best time leading up to Christmas when the kids were little.  You wish you could step back in time as they were so small and precious.

I came across this amazing photography story this week of a man in the UK who tracked his half sister down in Australia and actually the sister was born in Brisbane.  They didn't know of each other as the Dad had lived the UK when the boy was 4 months old.  They both were into photography and when they found each other when he was 50 years old the half sister was living in Adelaide and she also had studied photography over the years.  They put together a collection of fused images of theirs from before they met and it's incredible.  Gosh what a story from half way round the world. 

A few weeks back I photographed good friends of mine on their property and here's a few of the images.  I first met them when Eli was just 6 weeks old and he is now 7 so my friends, time flies by so quickly.