Saturday, July 7, 2018

June: the sadness solstice.

Yes, depressing name, but rhythmic, romantic AND accurate, and solstice has a sense of a changing of time as well, which is hopeful. Anyway, let us begin.

So I started June sick, I got a cold and because I was run down from hectic May. I was disappointed, but i didn’t cancel my planned weekend in Tamworth, I was through the worst of the cold so I figured I could drive there and recover in Tamworth instead of my own house which I was a bit bored of. 

This is Ruby, E’s dog.

This is B and A's house. A cosy fire, amazing baked lemon slice and tea.

A bakes sourdough from flour she grinds on the mill in her laundry. Fresh flour. We also had baked dinner of lamb grown on the farm, so it was amazing, next level up from eating greens from the veggie garden.

The lovely verandah with autumn trees.

The surrounding farm, which I managed to go out and look at once, but I timed it perfectly for a brief moment of dramatic sunlight. It was cold and cloudy otherwise. And much drought.

Back at work we had our first monday of the month meeting, with home baked catering. It's really lovely to eat people's home baking, what are their special recipes. Good thing to bring people together at work.

And Monday after work is cello, and this is a sunset behind the courthouse (lessons are in the gaol office). So many sunsets this month! I took heaps of photos because I want to paint them. I normally do Jillian on Mondays but none of that happened, in fact it's been several months since I did Jillian, I haven't been regular since February. Something to look forward to this month.

Same sunset, from upstairs 15 minutes later.

I hit the end of my 3 months of clexane injections!

This is the 3 sharps containers I had to get rid of.

My 3rd oil painting was the above Monday sunset. I didn't get the perspective on the buildings right but the sky is amazing, I may have another go at it. Buildings and fiddly bits are really hard with the palette knife.

Decided to come back a few days later and paint the windows, which didn't work well, it was very hard once the original paint was dry.

Quick update on the gardens! My new flower garden is a delight. My veggie garden is lush with edibles.

I took a Friday off, I think I did something useful, but mainly JK and I saw Oceans 8, and went to a new Korean Fried Chicken and ate wings. Really lovely day. When you are tired, the cinema (with recliners) is a great way to get out of the house but basically lounge around resting as well.

On the Saturday I drove down to Sydney for Church By The Bridge free Living Single day. I felt squeamish at times about being at a single's conference. It was a good day, just hearing different accounts from men and women in their different situations. Single men, single women, people grieving what they can't have, or very sad situations that have led them to be single. Had lunch in Kirribilli with 3 dear friends which was a highlight of the month.


No photos of this, but I watched every episode of Love Island. 40% for people watching, 60% for the irish voiceover guy. Hilarious. I wish every show had a comedian doing a running commentary taking the micky out of it. Anyway every time there was a shot of the moon he just said "Moown" for no reason. So saying "Sunset" reminded me of that.

B posted me these books when I was sick and I gobbled them up! I've now lent them to J who had them on her wish list. Would recommend. Not too long, well paced, plot twists, surprising romances. Surprising as in with characters you don't expect and with a different taste to other romances.

Ah the finished painting! The frame really suits this one.

I did this quick little one to use up paint, from a Tamworth photo.

We had a work lunch on a Friday to celebrate a book, but actually we never do lunch out so it was nice to do that halfway through the year.

On the weekend my colleague Nathan died. He had cancer, but died from an infection really suddenly. We were expecting them to be at lunch with us on Friday but on Friday he got unwell and by Sunday his wife turned off his life support. My boss rang me on Sunday night after church to personally tell me, at his wife's request that he call the ladies from his office. It was the 17th of June.

He was hugely loved at Tocal. He gave everyone nicknames. He gossiped with everyone. He could do any job. He knew about a lot of things. He was big in the rugby community too because he played union at a high level.

His wife rang me up on Monday night, when I was going for a sad evening walk, and asked if I would go over with some other work ladies and help her organise the program and funeral stuff. I took my ipad and sketched a lot of his iconic things, like his ugly hat, and put them throughout the program with all the photos she picked out.

It was a sad, tiring week. The funeral was the following Monday at the great hall at Tocal, with at least 700 people. It was a tough day but I work with very special people. This is our office memorial that J created. The office trophy, his favourite tea, and a stone because he used to put a stone in people's boots left outside doors.

 Another Monday sunset.

Another sunset!

Oh angryness. I've been massively attacked by moths, they've chomped through my lovely merino cardigans and knitted things. I've sewn some up, but some merino is very smooth so you can't repair it without being obvious. So angry.

No energy this month still, but I did lunchtime walks if it was sunny, and I went on a Friday park walk with Cass, which was magic. You can't see it well in this pic, but fog was creeping over the flood plains, horses were standing in the fog in the twilight, it was so beautiful. Phones are so terrible at taking photos of magic landscapes.

There was a warm sunny saturday, on which I went shopping the sales and bought this, I think it's my first? leather handbag! And sat in the sun in bare arms and ate a gelato. Happy moment amid a sad month.

There is a new "singles social group" which we jokingly call the Single Pringles, the Solo Polos or Bored At Home. I was keen for bowling and it was really fun although I am bad at it.

I'm filling this app with content and I drew a map, it's a tour of Tocal Homestead. It's turning out well.

This is a dress from eshakti I ordered for my sister's wedding—this is the bridesmaid dress. I took Thursday off for a hospital procedure to get the Mirena in. It went well. Last hospital thingy for a while. Then I had JB and her son stay over Thursday night, on their way north, and I took Friday off and the following week off as holiday. Planned to rest and recharge after a hard first half of the year.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

May is a marathon.

And now I reflect on May! I am very thankful that I survived the amount of stuff I did. I knew it was going to be full and busy, and whenever I started getting stressed, I remembered, yes, it's a busy month, just hang in there, it will be back to normal after Women of Truth (yesterday). 

A moment to appreciate a very soft jumper I bought. Probably have too many jumpers now, I have a bit of a thing for them.

So, work was busy. A few big jobs that I felt like I had to paddle fast to stay in front of them all. This was a nice thing though, I helped a colleague from Goulburn use a fake photoshop program to draw flora distribution maps for his book. So we will get PSD files from him instead of a bunch of sketches we have to digitise and make look nice. This is its own reward, and yet he also gave me honeycomb!

We had Term 2 home group start up and a pot luck dinner (all the carbs ....) and I made loaded fries. They were nice but I felt sick from nothing but carbs for dinner. Really must eat more veggies.

This is what my tummy looks like now. I have a triangle of scars at the bottom and a row of injection bruises from the clexane on either side of my belly button. Not pretty.

OK! The first big hump of the month was the Tocal Field Days at work. The lead up is a bit busy and then it's a 3 day weekend of CROWDS and stuff. Just some photos to capture it.

Tiring but a great event. I have some time in lieu to take but haven't had much time.

I did the wardrobe season changeover! This is the winter stuff being aired. Note my veggie garden and the box I have over my kale, there has been a plague of green grubs this year. Normally kale is impervious to pests.

I had my follow up gynae appointments in the middle of May. Being examined and touched is a bit tiring. I rewarded myself with a visit to the nursery to buy plants, or lunch with Ros who came with me for the second one.

This was disappointing because I was supposed to get an IUD implant but my anatomy is so retroverted they couldn't do it, I'll have to go back and have a general aneasthetic to do it. The last appointment was also weird, because it ended up being a total accident, I didn't actually need it, but I did ask some questions and found out I needed 3 more weeks of clexane. Which is also disappointing really. I thought I had finished.

Mum and I went shopping, which isn't something we ever do, and I picked a watch for my birthday present from my parents, and mum picked a new handbag.

I did some garden tidying and bought some replacement gardenias to complete my row.

Our household garden spider.

This is one of the cutest photos I've ever taken. C started enjoying saturday morning walks with me, we have done 3, but on this day she stayed in bed and missed this.

I rearranged the furniture! I had to, to fit music practice for WOT conference in my house, but also it's nice to change, it makes the house feel new.

Mum and I went to a fundraiser high tea on Mothers Day weekend, for the local P&C, and we both bid and won sets of pearls!

I like mine, I have been wearing them to work. Pearls and a white shirt, very nice. Or pearls around the house just because.

I've been enjoying watching this lady paint on instagram. It inspired me to try palette knife painting, and also I wanted to paint something for Liz for her wedding, of a photo I took of the river when we were kayaking near her house this year.

So I watched 2 youtube videos about palette knife landscapes, and I got to it! First, sketch the picture in pale blue.

Then start at the top and work down!

Then go back and do the details.

It took all in all 3 hours. I was amazed at the fast results. So the next weekend I tried again! I took this photo at work near my car, and my phone was terrible at captureing the soft light and also the hills were really flattened and small in the distance, whereas when you are there they are close and higher. So I photoshopped it to be a more helpful guide.

And on this same weekend, last weekend, my middle sister got engaged! Her fiancee looks like a normal person.

As well as baklava, I also love crumpets with lemon butter and berries. And this stripy dress is in the process of being culled. I decided to wear it 5 more times and then OUT. Stripes are in fashion at the moment, and it looks nice at work, but I don't like it, I always choose another dress and feel guilty. So this is it's last season. It is 5 years old too.

One of the big projects at work this month is collecting content for the tour app for the homestead. I found out the fig tree in this photo is probably 450 years old! There are so many beautiful things at Tocal Homestead.

And then yesterday was Women of Truth, the end of weeks of organising the music team and the words and the sheet music and the practices. An email every night all month it feels like. It went well, in that the first session went perfectly and everyone liked it, and then we went downhill a bit because so tired and 12 songs (plus repeating 2 so 14 songs) is so many songs you just can't do them all well. The band was happy at the end of the day though! I had pulled people from different churches and different ages so it was a mix that represented the conference. And I was happy with the mix of songs, they went well and they reinforced the themes well. It was a job well done, and I'm glad it's over. I'm looking forward to next month and having some fun plans for myself on my weekends!