Category Archives: flowers

21 for 2021: week 1

Week 1/2021: week of 4 January 2021
My 21 for 2021 list

This was my first week back at work so I decided it was as good a time as any to get back into the pre-work planning routine from the LifeHack program (thing 20). The video suggests following the exact routine for 66 days to cement it as a habit loop in your brain. I am struggling with that, not least because I’m not in the same place every day. It also feels very weird to try and work through a structured checklist like this. However, I will persist. 

Coincidentally, there is a chapter in the Change Journal (thing 4) about forming new habits, which also suggests trying new habits for 66 days. It gives you space to track seven new habits, presumably staring a new one every day for a week consistent with the way the rest of the book is structured to allow you to follow a new idea each week. I didn’t think it would be a good idea to try and introduce a new habit every day for a week, so I’m going to use this section of the book to track seven new habits over the course of the year. Unsurprisingly, the first one I’m going to try and follow for 66 (work) days is the pre-work planning routine.

I worked through the first module of the Brainsparker gym* (thing 17) and learned something really interesting. Well, as a contact lens wearer, I found it interesting. I learned that the modern contact lens was invented by a Czech chemist called Dr Otto Wichterle and his colleague Drahoslav Lím. Dr Wichterle had to leave the Institute of Chemical Technology after a political purge by the institute’s Communist leadership in 1958. He was appointed as leader of a new institute but, as it didn’t have a building at the time, he continued his research at his house. In 1961, he succeeded in producing the first four hydrogel contact lenses on his kitchen table with a machine he had made himself from a children’s building set, a dynamo from his son’s bike and a bell transformer.

The lesson from this: Keep going, even if the circumstances aren’t perfect. Use what you have and keep going.

Vegetable of the week

Thing 2 is to choose a different vegetable every week from Alice Zaslavky’s book In Praise of Veg and make a recipe from the book using that vegetable. This week I chose radicchio, which is another vegetable I’ve never cooked with (and, like okra, wasn’t exactly sure what to do with). I picked the radicchio and sausage pasta recipe.

Radicchio & sausage pasta ingredients

It uses pork and fennel sausages that you take out of the casing and smash up. Alice says to use the “fancy” ones, not ones that are packed full of fillers. It seemed a little sacrilegious to me to destroy the butcher’s work in putting these things together, and I wondered if using pork mince and fennel seeds might work as well. Perhaps I’ll try it one day. The recipe includes fennel, which is another vegetable I’d also never cooked, so I got two for the price of one with this dish!

Smashed sausages. Sorry, Meatgrrl.
Radicchio. Right.
Raddichio chopped.

It worked out well and everyone had seconds. So maybe it was worth destroying the sausages for. And I learned a very cool tip for adding zucchini to pasta rather than cutting it up and adding it to the sauce: use a spiraliser (I have one of those. I think I’ve used it once. I never forgave it after I cut myself on it). You put the spiralised zucchini in the colander before you drain the pasta and then let the pasta water soften it a bit.

Spiralised zucchini, yeah!
The finished product.,

Regular projects

There are several things on my list that are going to work best if I make a regular commitment to doing them. Consistency is the key. Brainsparker gym* is one (an hour a week) and the pre-work routine is obviously another one. So are these ones.

  • Thing 3: Complete the 30-day voice training course. I haven’t allocated time for this yet.
  • Thing 5: Spend an hour a week working through my annoying undone things list. One hour on Saturday morning. I didn’t do it this week because we went out most of the day, but I did work on a couple of the things on the list another time.
  • Thing 6: Grow some vegetables in the garden bed. One hour on Sunday afternoon for garden projects. I pulled out all the weeds and cleared space around it. I’m a little concerned that the cover for this garden bed is plastic that is rapidly deteriorating and I’m not sure what to do about that. No matter what I do, the plastic is still going to be somewhere, whether I throw it out or leave it. 
  • Thing 7: Clear out the area at the side of the house and make a space to sit. One hour on Sunday afternoon for garden projects.
  • Thing 8: Spend an hour a week working on Kramstable’s videos. One hour on Sunday afternoon. I started the next video on my list. 
  • Thing 9: Write my mother’s life story. This week, I arranged with my mother to visit once a week to talk through this project and capture her memories.
  • Thing 10: Complete the ImageWork course. I haven’t allocated time for this yet.
  • Thing 11: Complete the Photoshop Classroom in a Book activities. I haven’t allocated time for this yet.

Yeah, I know I don‘t do well in sticking to a plan, but I have had some success in fixing regular times to do things in my week and making them habits so I’m hoping this will work for these things too.

Nice afternoon for a walk

What else did I achieve this week?

My regular check in: I finished the final collage for my 2020 photojournal and I now have all of them printed so I just need to stick them into the book to finish that off. It’s one of my annoying undone things.

I didn’t work on my Hobart Street Corners project on Thursday, which is the night I usually work on those photos, because my computer was playing up and it took two hours to even get any photos off my phone, much less edit anything. I finished off my backlog of 2020 photos on Sunday morning instead.

Last year I had some questions that I asked myself every week that would set me up for the new week, about what didn’t got so well that week and what I might do better next week. Most of the time my answer was that I was scrolling through my phone too much, and I never really kicked that habit, which I’m sure made for boring reading. It also made me realise that this approach wasn’t working so it was time to try something different. I have a bunch of questions for myself related to areas where I want to do better, not all of which I might be able to answer every week, so I thought I would answer just one or two of them on the blog each week rather than run through the entire list every week.

What did I do for the Earth this week?

There is so much going through my head. So many things I could do and so many things I should have been doing for years. Part of me wonders why bother? I can take all the small steps in the world to reduce my footprint but it won’t make a lick of difference if world leaders don’t make some hard decisions. We have to stop using fossil fuels and overfishing the seas and destroying rainforests and all the things we do that make our lives easier. We can’t sustain what we’re doing, we just can’t.

It all seems too overwhelming so, rather than give up because I don’t know what to do, I need to start somewhere and keep learning and making changes.

There are a couple of things that are extremely low-hanging fruit and I have no excuses not to do them.

The first one is the kettle. I had a habit of filling it up every time I use it, which is, I learned (and if I think about it, actually knew) a massive waste of energy I couldn’t find any exact numbers for Australia, but suffice to say boiling a kettle with 1.7 litres of water when I only need 500 ml is very inefficient and I don’t do it any more.

What was the best thing about this week?

Getting my new glasses so I can see again!

My blog also celebrated its tenth birthday, so I will be posting some more on that in the coming weeks.

Getting out for a lunchtime walk

Summary for the week

What I’m reading this week: A Life on Our Planet by David Attenborough.

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things completed to date: 0
  • Things I progressed: 7 (2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 17, 20)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress: 0
  • Things not started: 14 (1, 3, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21)

Habit tracker

  • Days I did my morning planning routine at work (Goal = 5): 5
  • Days I worked on my art (Goal = 2): 3
  • Days I read a book (Goal = 7): 7
  • Days I did yoga stretches (Goal = 7): 2
  • Days I had a lunch break away from my desk (Goal = 5 work days): 5
  • Days I went for a walk or did other physical activity in the afternoon (Goal = 7): 6
  • Days I shut my computer down before 10.15 (Goal = 7): 7

20 for 2020: week 21

Week 21: Week of 18 May
My 20 for 2020 list.

After I handed my uni assignment in last Sunday (thing 8) I felt completely drained and flat and certainly not inspired to start thinking about the rest of the work and the next assignment, which I think is due at the start of July. I hoped I’d feel a bit better about it later in the week and got the readings for the rest of the unit together so they’d be ready to work on.

As it turned out, my week was pretty disrupted with three medical appointments, including one on Friday that left me needing to take the rest of the day off work, so I really didn’t settle myself down to refocus on this work until the weekend and even then I only managed to get through one reading.

The good news from my GP earlier in the week though was that the lumps and scrapes on my hand are not, as I’d imagined, the result of some creepy crawly living under my bed that comes out at night to bite me when I’m sleeping, but a specific sort of hand eczema that can be caused by excessive hand washing, soap, the cold, stress . . . whatever normally causes me to get an eczema flare up. I’m relieved that it isn’t a mysterious nocturnal predator slowly poisoning my body bite by bite, but also secretly disappointed, because that would be a kind of cool story to go into my isolation journal.

20200519 Concoction of potions 2 edit

Begone, itchy hands!

On the days I go out, I’ve been taking photos of things that show how the world has changed in the last couple of months. I think it will be interesting to look back on this in the future.

I’ve been trying to develop a more useful and regular mindfulness meditation practice, which I have been doing recently through a combination of different apps following a study I participated in last year through the Menzies Centre on mindfulness at work. About two months ago, I went back to the Insight Timer app, which I used to use every day and had built up a streak of over 500 days before I forgot one day and completely lost the habit. I was very disappointed in myself that one missed session was enough to kill a habit of almost two years. I have always struggled with the idea of focusing on my breath and, whenever I get distracted by a thought, bringing my focus back gently to my breath. So my daily three minutes “mindfulness” was mainly me struggling not to think. This week I started a new program that I’m using in conjunction with Insight Timer, which involves two 30-minute sessions every day. It’s a huge step up from slotting three minutes in sometime during the day when I think of it, and it’s not easy. It is frustrating and there are times I hate it.

The reasons for me doing this are long and varied and I don’t want to go too much into them, other than to say that developing a mindfulness practice is one element of my personal development plan that I completed in the second unit of my uni course and I hope that it will support me in dealing with some of the other things I identified in the plan. None of this is supported through the uni program. What I do with the personal development plan is entirely up to me, but I feel like now I’ve made the effort to put it together, I need to actually make it happen.

It’s too early to tell if the mindfulness program is going to benefit me and but I know that I need to commit to it and do it for several weeks to see any real effects.

So there’s that.

As well as doing my mindfulness practice in the mornings, I’ve been continuing to use the time after my morning walk to work through the Photoshop course (thing 7). It’s really exciting stuff and I need to actually break out of my bubble and start to do some of the things I’m learning.

I’m three lessons in to the second module and realised there is a lot of material I’ve been sitting there nodding at but not taking the time to sit down and practice. There almost seems to be a point right now in the course that is a really good time to actually do that before moving on. It’s almost like the instructor knows I haven’t been doing the work and wrapped up the video I watched on Saturday with a pretty clear instruction to stop consuming the content and start creating. (And if he didn’t, that is my brain putting that interpretation on it because it knows it’s time to do some work.)

20200523 Shattered dreams and broken 3 edit IG

Trampled dreams

I have this idea in my head that I need to get through the videos as fast as possible to finish the course and then go back and do the work later. But, of course, this isn’t like that. The videos build on the previous work, so if you haven’t done that, you’re going to get very lost and confused.

I do not need to finish watching the videos in any set time. There is no time limit, only the one my completionist brain insists on. But there’s no benefit in doing it this way. I need to work through the material and actually do it as I go and when I start to understand it, then I can move on to the next video. There’s no prize for getting through them all in record time. There’s no prize at all. And there definitely won’t be a prize for watching all the videos but not actually being able to use any of the techniques. I need to do the work. Now.

One thing I have learned from doing my uni course is that I actually do have time to sit down and do the work I want to do. I can organise my days to do this. Not having time is an excuse that really means I’m not prioritising things. I already knew this, by the way, but I have seen for a fact that I can sit down and focus on something. I also learned a bit more about procrastination this week and that ties in well with the Indistractable work (thing 13) that I still haven’t gone back to and finished . . .

I used my graphics tablet (thing 17) for all of 30 seconds this week before Photoshop crashed and I didn’t go back to it. 30 seconds is still progress, right?

And finally, following my raven reading theme, this week I read the book The Ravenmaster’s Boy by Mary Hoffman, a young adult historical fiction piece centred around the last days of Anne Boleyn.20200524 The Ravenmaster's Boy

Summary for the week

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things completed to date: 8 (1, 4, 5, 6, 10, 15, 16, 18)
  • Things I progressed: 1 (7, 8, 14, 17)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress:  (3, 11, 13, 22)
  • Things not started: 6  (2, 9, 12, 19, 20, 21)
  • Days I stuck to my 15 minutes creative habit this week: 7
  • Days I read a book: 7

 

19 for 2019: update week 3

It’s week 3 of my 19 for 2019 plan (week of 14 January 2019). I didn’t make a lot of progress this week.

I finished reading two books (thing 5). One of them was this one, Exhausted to Energised by Dr Libby Weaver. (Reading list here if you want to know what the other one was.)20190115 exhausted to energtised edit I found the Exhausted to Energised journal that I got from kikki.K ages ago in a pile of unread books. (Note I said “a pile of unread books”. Because I have more than one.) I decided there was no point having it if I didn’t actually use it, so I borrowed the accompanying book from the library and made a start. I found so much information relevant to me that I ordered my own copy to keep referring to as I work through the journal.

I did two writing lessons (thing 8) and I completed one assignment for the photography course (thing 1).20190115 flower exerciseMy photo library has very kindly gone and messed itself completely up so I’ve spent a lot of time yesterday and today trying to sort it out. I’m wondering if this is a sign to bite the bullet and move everything into Lightroom. I followed some instructions to do something I wanted to know how to do in there (thing 19).

Status at the end of week 3

  • Things completed: 1
  • Things I have taken action on this week: 4
  • Things in progress but no action this week: 3
  • Things not started: 11

Here are some photos from my morning walk on Saturday before my photo library started causing me grief. 20190119 morning walk flowers 2 edit

20190119 morning meditation edit

12 of 12 August 2015

Wednesday 12 August was a work day that wasn’t 100% normal. The forecast for Hobart was 4-15, with a chance of a late shower.

1 of 12 – It was cold when I got up. It’s the time of year when afternoon me hates morning me for rugging up so warmly, because I either swelter in all my layers walking to school to pick up Juniordwarf, or I have to take so much off that my bag is stuffed full of clothing and heavy, so I get hot just by carrying it. No glamorous school mum here, just a bedraggled, frazzled, flustered, melting mess.

1 of 12

1 of 12

2 of 12 – If you read my post about our recent lunch at Peppermint Bay, you might remember that Juniordwarf loves the movie Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, and wanted to try sardines at the restaurant. Once he’d had sardines, he decided he loved them so much he needed to have them again. They’re now a staple on our weekly shopping list, and he has them a couple of times a week for breakfast.

2 of 12

2 of 12

3 of 12 – Juniordwarf is a big fan of the author Andy Griffiths. He has heaps of his books, including the “Treehouse” series. The latest book in the series, The 65-Storey Treehouse, was released today. Juniordwarf is a frequent visitor to one of the local bookshops to flick through the Andy Griffiths books, so much so that the staff have been enlisting his help to cross off the days on the countdown poster to the release. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to get into the store to get the book today, but it’s on the agenda for tomorrow.

3 of 12

3 of 12

4 of 12 – This time of year has some lovely sunrises. I haven’t taken a lot of sunrise photos this year. This is the post-sunrise sun over Bridgewater.

4 of 12

4 of 12

5 of 12 – Lil Sis, my Mum and I went to the cemetery to pick out a spot for my Dad’s ashes to be interred. He passed away in 2009 and was a donor to the Utas Body Bequest Program, so it’s been several years until we’ve been able to find a place to lay him to rest.

The cemetery is in a lovely quiet spot. We passed by this view of the Mountain, still dusted with snow after last week’s cold snap.

5 of 12

5 of 12

6 of 12 – One of the areas we had a look at.

6 of 12

6 of 12

7 of 12 – The Daphne in St Davids Park is smelling divine.

7 of12

7 of12

8 of 12 – We had to pick Juniordwarf up early today so he could go to the dentist. He had his teeth scraped and cleaned for the first time. He was a bit uncomfortable, but he was a real trooper and didn’t complain at all. I did have a photo of him in the chair but I can’t post it because the dentist is in it, and you know how you can’t show dentists’ faces on television . . .

9 of 12 – Juniordwarf is a big fan of The Princess Bride. We’ve watched it together several times and he likes to act it out. When I found out that Cary Elwes, who plays Westley in the movie, had written a book about the making of the movie, I wanted to read it. The library didn’t have it, but they did have the audio book, so we’ve been listening to that. It’s a really interesting. I’m glad I’m a lot more familiar with the movie now, after repeated viewings, because I know exactly what he’s referring to most of the time.

9 of 12

9 of 12

10 of 12 – I used to not like grape hyacinths. Now I love them in early spring. They look fantastic planted en masse. If only I had somewhere I could do a mass planting.

10 of 12

10 of 12

11 of 12 – Once upon a time, another lifetime ago, I studied French. After I left uni I forgot about it. Lately I’ve felt like I wanted to take it up again. I got onto the Duolingo app a couple of weeks ago and started to see how much I could remember. More than I thought. The Duolingo website tells me I’m 52% efficient in French (whatever that means), which I’m pretty happy with after two weeks of revision.

11 of 12

11 of 12

12 of 12 – We’ve been planning our NZ trip since 2000. Every time we’ve started to get serious about it, something’s happened to put the trip on the backburner. Now in 2015 it’s really going to happen. Next month! And I’m going back on my TravelPod to blog about it.

12 of 12

12 of 12

12 of 12 December 2013

Thursday 12 December was a pretty ordinary school and work day.

1 of 12 – School bank day.

Image2 of 12 – Lunch order day (Thursdays we have to remember two things!)

Image3 of 12 – This flower caught my eye on the way to work.

Image4 of 12 – Demolition watch. Two diggers working together to bring down the window frame. They cut through the concrete, then one holds the beam while the other one shears through the steel reinforcement.

Image5 of 12 – Writing Xmas cards.

Image6 of 12 – Two of my favourite pens (from the Xmas card task): a roller ball and a ball point, both by Lamy.

Image7 of 12 – Our two newest family members, Flip and Smudge.

Image8 of 12 – Hoping for a fine day soon so I can get these pretties into the ground and covered from avian predators.

Image9 of 12 – The temperature at 7.45 pm. So far, most of the summer days have been more like winter days. I don’t like the cold, but am more fearful of the hot windy days we got in January this year and am in no hurry for those days to return.

Image10 of 12 – Every time I think I can put the clothes airer away, it rains on washing day and out it comes again. And stays for weeks.Image 11 of 12 – I made this tree a few years ago and Juniordwarf has taken on the job of changing the numbers. It’s about as Christmassy as I get.

Image12 of 12 – The art of Robert Lopshire. Juniordwarf’s class has looked at several artists this year like Monet, Matisse and Miro. Then they did their own artworks in the style of the artists they’ve studied and had them displayed in blocks around the classroom. At teddy school they’ve done the same thing. A couple of weeks ago teddy school looked at Robert Lopshire, who is a children’s author and illustrator. He’s written books like Put Me in the Zoo, which are part of Juniordwarf’s Dr Seuss library. So the teddies drew their own interpretation of the illustrations from the book, and they are now stuck up on the wall in our own art gallery.Image

it’s been a busy year

Regular readers of this blog (if I still have any left) will notice that this is my first post in over three months.

I’m not really sure where to take this blog now. In 2011 I achieved my goal of blogging my 365 Project every day, and earlier this year I managed to post semi-regularly, which dropped down to almost never.

As the year went on I felt like I didn’t need to blog like I did last year. It wasn’t as important, and there was no real incentive to do it. So I didn’t.

Part of me says maybe it’s time to get rid of it. I don’t really see myself as a “blogger”,  I don’t interact with a lot of people’s blogs (and those that I do are mostly people I know personally), and I’m not really into the blogging “scene”.

On the other hand, I like having this space. I can post things when I want to get something out there, or share stuff with my family, friends and readers (and any random strangers who happen to pass by . . .)

The upshot is I’m not sure. If I do keep it, I want to try and post more regularly than I have this year.

So while I’m thinking about it, here are some of the things I might have posted about this year if I’d been blogging more often.

First up, we moved house in October, so from the time we made the offer on the new house in July to now, when things are almost as we need them to be in the new house, my life has been mostly packing, decluttering, getting a house ready to sell, more packing, moving, unpacking, moving stuff around, more unpacking, more decluttering. And that has resulted in me being six months behind in my Project Life album for 2012, among other things.

Just some of the packing that had to take place

 Following in Slabs’ footsteps, both Juniordwarf and I started our own radio shows on the local community radio station.

We opened the bottle of Millennium Ale that we’d had sitting around since, well 1999.

I had a hair cut after about nine months of not being bothered to pick up the phone and make a hair appointment. Goodbye long hair (again).

 We chased a rainbow up the river.

 Juniordwarf turned six.

 We made the occasional visit to the Two Metre Tall Farm Bar, and Juniordwarf enjoyed the puddles.

I participated in the Walk To Work Day photo competition and my photo collage made the Top 20. I also participated in a 10,000 Steps pedometer challenge and (just) met my goal of 1 million steps in ten weeks.

My boy picked me some flowers

Juniordwarf continue to improve his swimming.

We had a weekend in Launceston to celebrate our wedding anniversary

Re-enacting our wedding. What?

Family snapshot

We saw a baby monkey at City Park

The Chairlift at Cataract Gorge

Stopover at Holm Oak Wines . . .

. . . and Moores Hill

Willow Court Open Day. This is the Barracks.

I got to know Mrs Spider (with seven legs), who resided on my kitchen window, until I had to move her so that we could fit the window screens, and sadly she never came back.

We got some chickens. Say goodbye to the vege garden.

A new local market was set up in December and I was the lucky winner of their first email prize. It’s a great idea and I’m looking forward to seeing the market grow in the new year.

Merry Xmas from Juniordwarf!

Yes, it really is Xmas.

And that’s the past six months in a nutshell.  As to where I go from here, well I’m still thinking.

Happy New Year everyone 🙂

the boy and the flower

I finished off a couple more layouts this weekend. Both of them, I can quite proudly say, involved using all products I already had at home, other than one sheet of cardboard.

The first one is a photo of Juniordwarf when he was at the height of his “don’t take any more photos of me, Mum” period. He actually asked me to take a photo of him. I was happy to oblige.

Kaisercraft “Rewind” Collection

I really love these papers for boy layouts. This is a good thing, because I have a lot of them.

The second one relates back to a blog post I did last year.

Basic Grey “Infuse Collection”

One of the die cuts from “Infuse”

K & Co mini folder to hold the journalling

After I’d finished the layout I realised I needed to tell the story of why this flower gets its own layout. I was lucky enough to find a small folder that matched the colours of the layout that I could hide the story in – the story is the same as last year’s blog post (you need to scroll past the Hipstamatic stuff to read the story there).

And I think this might be the first layout I’ve done that hasn’t included any photos.

P365 – Day 317 – fruits of our labour (Sunday Selections)

Since it’s Sunday and I took a lot of photos today, I thought I would join in Kim’s Sunday Selections at Frogpondsrock  this week. I never seem to be able to get my act into gear to hook out some old unseen photos for Kim, so new ones will have to do.
But first, some context . . .
We went back to the Garden Club’s Flower and Horticultural Show this morning.
We were all very excited that Juniordwarf’s flower had won a certificate – he got first place for the model flower class and also best exhibit for the under 6s age group category.
There were some lovely floral exhibits, and a fantastic display of local produce, including our friends at Two Metre Tall, Kinvarra Estate, where we went earlier in the year, Stefano Lubiana Wines and Cracknell Tomatoes.

Lil Sis, Mr Tall and Nanna came to visit us and to see the flower show, and we all went out for lunch afterwards. 
This afternoon Juniordwarf and I went back to pick up his model and his certificates. We decided to go for a walk before we went home, and we ended up in the park at the end of the main street, where Juniordwarf had a great time exploring the fountain and smelling the roses.