Tuesday, October 2, 2018

September obsessions.

So Julia got married on the first of September in the last blog. I've just been enjoying normal life. Garden is going gloriously. The iclandic poppies are abundant in frosty pinks. The lavender is blooming at last! An orchid in the bathroom is also blooming and the cyclamen is still blooming.  The lemon tree in the pot has hundreds of flowers so looks like I'll be a lemon mum this year.

Normal life = obsessions. One obsession was cotton pyjamas. Suddenly got disgusted with all my pyjamas and wanted nice new ones. I signed up for mailing lists and fortuitously Papinelle had a factory sale a week later! I bought some for myself and some for Christmas pressy, which means I'm very organised and have started Christmas shopping. I got on a role and did a little more online gift shopping. If there are sales, why not.

We had an office dog (needed to be minded so she didn't chew off her plaster cast). Greyhounds are good dogs.

We welcomed M back after a year of maternity leave! I put pansies on a brownie.

So people wise, the office is good. There are 4 of us in there. There are rumours of reorganisations and renovations. We all got a bee in our bonnet because our office is a bit of a storage space and feels messy and forgotten sometimes. Part of it was my fault though because I had all these pull up banners in there to get reprinted and refitted. So I had a big push and got 5 of them done and tidied up as much as I could. We have big compactors full of junk though, it's where hoarders keep their hoard but we are declutterers who want to purge.

I went to CanvasCon in Sydney with some colleagues. It was good to learn about elearning, and get to know the ladies from work and have a nice stay at Darling Harbour. Makes up for the grotty office with the rodents that eat through phonelines and printers don't work.

Also, I put my hand up to organise the Tocal/DPI tent at the Tocal Field Days next year. This is a big job. I asked a colleague to co-lead it with me. She has good admin skills. So I'm in charge of the vision for it, the look and how it is engaging, and she will make sure we have lights and power points and people rostered and all those things. Good plan I think. It's a shame that TFD and Women of Truth are both in May and I'm organising heavily in both now. I am already planning to drop cello for a bit next year to make room in my life for all this extra stuff.

I helped JK with a sewing and gospel afteroon. This is uni girls making beeswax wraps.

I also said yes to being on a little organising team for a womens night. Not my favourite thing, but it's just a few meetings and doing a flyer and then praying on the night.

G and E detoured to Tocal on their way to Tamworth and we had lunch! So lovely see them in the middle of a work day.

Had some home group socials. I don't really feel like socialising much, but these breakfasts are quite efficient, 8am-10am, so you can eat with people then get to the shops or whatever. And the other thing was a girls dinner at Kinn Thai wearing proper dresses, a proper night out, which made a nice change.

The Aussie Markets came to Maitland and at first I wasn't excited but then it was amazing. We had bao, korean fried chicken, and dessert.

JK gave me these fresias!

And we saw Crazy Rich Asians which was great, very enjoyable. Hopefully people start making classic rom coms again. They went down the toilet and the genre died, but it's the most delightful genre when done well. We ate asian snacks, and since then I've tried more. My favourite is cinnamon turtles.

Church also organised a screening of For the Love of God. It was good, carefully made, well explained, and a good broad overview of church history. I was unaware of things like how society didn't value humility before Jesus, which is interesting.

I enjoy the wisteria at Maitland Park every year, probably unable to grow my own since it eats pergolas. Ugh I'm still trying to get my pergola approved by strata. Nobody objects, it's just the strata manager being useless at organising a meeting. A future admin job is to get a new strata manager I think because I'm pretty sure this one is lazy and lying. Looks like I won't get it built before summer. Disappointing.

I did a bunch of admin to change my mortage to another bank but then at the last minute got a better interest rate where I am and stayed. If you have the papers signed to walk out the door when you ring them up they are very motivated to give you the new person rate not the existing customer rate, which is a difference of over a quarter %. So a few hours hassle for a few thousand dollars saved. Worth it.

I went to Tamworth to hear my cousin play in the Gunnedah Shire Band, which is a very very good brass band. Tamworth were very good, but Gunnedah was amazing. World class. I also stayed with E, and conveniently drove a load of Gumtree purchases up for her. A very efficient and useful trip.

Her decorating inspired me to get a better couch myself one day. Not this year. When I do I shall commission E because she is a gumtree wizard!

Also there are freesias in the lawn! I could do that!

The cutest cavoodle.

Some family.

I thought this was good. Not sentimental, but pretty much sums up life for me. I think about singleness and marriage a lot at the moment. Weddings and divorces and babies all around me. I'm standing still, peacefully dully still. I look forward to hearing the Living Single conference talks soon.

I gave a colleague a dress she admired that I was planning to donate, and she gave me lavender and a tea cup! So lovely.

I've been working one or two days a week on a kids book. I'm happy with the overall thing although now I want to redo a few spreads. My painting and illustration is good enough but i could do better if I did more than one draft! I do like this drawing though. I've been doing them on the ipad and then layering backgrounds in photoshop.

I did fit a painting day in, on the last weekend of the month. I don't seem to be developing a particular style of my own but each painting is slightly better than the previous month, I think. 

I've been obsessed with blazers. For many years now I have needed a blazer. But they are expensive. So I've chickened out and bought other things that were not a blazer, and didn't do the same job. ie, wear to job interviews, external meetings, corporate lunches. I only have the need a couple of times a year, but then I'm kicking myself. So I noticed some nice blazers in the Trenery section of David Jones, and tried them on, and this linen one is my pick, and I had to order a size they didn't have online but it was 25% off either way. It came in the mail today! Very happy with the fit. It might be too hot to wear tomorrow but I have a meeting so maybe I will.

Oh also! I bought a wardrobe app and uploaded all my clothes into it. I had no creativity to get dressed in the morning and the app has an outfit thing that shuffles clothes for you. And I was swapping my wardrobe around for summer anyway, so it was a good time to take photos of things. Or you can just find close enough pics online, or if you buy something new just take the actual pic from the online store. So in general I've been a bit clothes obsessed.

I also bought a stone frying pan on the weekend, in a House shop sale. My teflon one is all worn out, it was 2nd hand anyway. I'm not sure what stone cookware actually is, I pondered for 2 weeks before I bought one, but I've been enjoying using it so far.

So I've had a spendy month or two really. Robot vacuum and fry pan and blazer and things. But I guess I saved all that money on my mortage so it's all good! Sometimes you need to buy things and they were all things I put off for years.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

August: all the good things! Love and robot vacuum cleaners.

August! Things went pretty well! I drink water kefir regularly, its what I stir my morning detox powder into. I do a batch every 3 days. Wouldn't say its amazing but it's kind of working. I'm into all the probiotics at the moment and so I've stopped buying komucha for a treat now I have this, so actually it's probably worth it.


Self-reliance triumph. The kitchen tap got loose again. Disappointing because I paid a plumber to fix/replace it, and it didn't stay tight and fixed for very long, maybe a year. So I went to bunnings and bought a tool to tighten it myself, so I'll be doing that from now on whenever it gets loose.

I've had the urge to declutter a lot this month. I've had a lot of satisfaction in going through the bathroom cupboard, tidying shelves and little spaces around the house, garage corners, getting rid of things. I took down this postcard wall and put them in a box, it suddenly felt a bit immature to have a messy gallery wall. 

The poppy colours are very sweet this year.

HAve been doing lovely lunchtime walks with K. It's the perfect time of year. Not cold, not sweaty.

Also at work, launched into illustrating a kids book. I've done 6/10 illustrations so far. It's looking pretty cute.

2 more paintings framed, to give away. THis is Liz's wedding present, her wedding was on a Sunday in August.

This one is in my room but I'd like to give it to friends soon.

My sister Julia's wedding drew closer, and despite her protests another bridesmaid organised an overnight shindig which was lovely. Out near Cessnock somewhere I'd never been, so an interesting drive. Much dairy food I couldn't eat (cheese, cheesecake etc) but I took my dark chocolate. We shared loving words about Julia, gave her gifts, watched a video of Luke saying nice things and answering test questions, dinner, and a fire.

This was my main diet for helping my stomach. Veggie bake for breakfast.

Broccoli salad for lunch. My stomach has been better than it was, but still unreliable. It's definitely reacting to my uterus reacting to the mirena. Each month is better.

Our lolly loving colleague went on maternity leave, so that should help :)

I had occasional treats, especially once Ruth said I could eat SOME dairy (cheese, goat's milk) and could stop reading all the labels for milk. Ros organised dinner with a few girls and burger urge. I ate chips and burger and stomach was Ok! Better than a month ago. And we watched Bachy after, and one of the girls is living in College so is going to pop over to watch Bachy regularly.

Saturday morning walks continue to be a housemate highlight. We had guests, F and little C.

An older man at church wanted to have coffee with me and get my help with an email.

More spring cleaning, I dismantled this native posy I received in March for sickness, and kept the nicest bits in vases.

I am moving my mortgage from one bank to another for cheaper rate. It's such a hassle. But you have to make the effort because this is where the BIG savings in life are. Things like milk prices and petrol prices take too much of our attention, while big money is being wasted on higher interest rates. It'll take me a couple of hours maybe of my time in admin, finding the forms and stuff, but the money I will save over the next few years will be a very good return on 2 hours work. Thousands of dollars. SMORT.

Dad has commissioned some oil paintings for Christmas presents so I did one.

I enjoy a lot of ambient piano chill music at the moment. Listening to it right now in fact. I'm also listening to podcasts. So if I want chillout background it's piano, if I want comedy it's The Flophouse (bad movie reviews).

So yes, nothing much happened in August. Until! 31st of August, we get ready for my sister's wedding! We transformed Singleton Baptist with curtains and fairy lights, trucked in extra chairs, kept calm despite miscommunications and some emergency purchases from big W.

Saturday 1st September, yesterday, was the wedding day. A local hosted us all for the bridal party get ready. She put out a beautiful breakfast and hosted many people to get ready and make a mess.

Elsie did a wonderful job on Julia and Mum's makeup, and I did a pretty decent job on mine and talked Heather through hers, and the other bridesmaids did their own. Heather and I did our own hair, the others went for professional help.

The wedding went off really well. The personalities of Luke and Julia shone through. Lots of funny moments. Many friends and family travelled for the day, and everyone I talked to was having a good time and enjoying the food and catching up.

My brother bought a suit, so I got a selfie with him looking presentable.

No photos on my phone did justice to Julia's makeup but you can see how beautiful she was.

I always love good speeches, and my parents did beautifully. Also, the decision to create the curtains was very smort. Was a wonderful backdrop for the wedding and the speeches and photos.

Julia went barefoot and Luke wore old boots. Nice. Mum made Julia's dress and it looked really nice. Julia was so happy the the dress and the music on the day, her friends performed a song from the greatest showman soundtrack on piano and violin we walked up the aisle, and the congregational songs were done well with loud singing (Take my Life, and All Glory Be to Christ), so those were the big things she was happy about.

The bridesmaids dresses were from eshakti, and they got a lot of nice comments. I think 6 or 7 people told me how good we looked. There were 5 bridesmaids, and we lived in different places, so shopping together wasn't an option, so I suggested Julia pick a dress from the eshakti website and then we measure and order our own. We had the option to change up the sleeves, so I went for half sleeves for warmth, and pockets were optional, which was so useful to have phone, keys and lipstick on me for the day.

The wedding and lunch went 10:30 to about 1:30, which was nice and short and not so long that people got bored. There were no formal photos done, people took the photos they wanted after the speeches. There was a photographer, an inexperienced one who didn't really know what he was doing and didn't charge much for his time, so maybe there will be some good photos from him, but I'd be surprised. But I don't think photos were high priority for Julia or Luke. The day was very good.

Me, JK, Heather an Erica drove back to Maitland for a rest at my place for the afternoon, then back to Singleton for dinner at the pub with a smaller group of family and friends. Julia had already dismantled her hairstyle and put on casual clothes!

So praise God for a lovely wedding and a lovely new brother-in-law!

Today, I went to morning church with the visiting rellies. It's nice to visit occasionally also.

And Elsie made one of my obsessions a reality, delivering my robot vacuum cleaner! I plan to run him around the tiled areas twice a week or so. To clean up after Percy and in the kitchen. THere is an app and everything. 

So that's August. One of the best months so far.