Taking Stock – June 2020

June 25, 2020
watercolour painting

Watercolour Painting by Min – Course task was to ‘Paint by Observation’. This was my attempt at painting a cutting of some Camellia’s from my garden.

Taking Stock – it’s that time again! Regular readers would know that I do a Taking Stock post quarterly each year. The first Taking Stock post for 2020 was Taking Stock – March 2020. The global pandemic had just hit our shores here and when I look back at that post, I can see that I was very scared. I’m not quite as scared now, but the pandemic is still here and so there is still concern and need for caution. We’ve been lucky here in Australia as things haven’t gotten as bad as experienced in other countries. I really do hope it can stay that way.

Let’s get started on Taking Stock – June 2020!

Making:  Art!  I completed a short watercolour painting course and created a bit of art along the way. Loved it and plan to do more courses so that I can learn all there is to know. The outcome of the last task of the course is the image at the top of this post.
Cooking:  Lovely winter warming slow cooker soups.
Sipping:  On a coffee as I type this.
Reading:  The book I’m reading at the moment is ‘Phosphorescence’ by Julia Baird.
Waiting:  For Natalie Martin’s next course to be released. Should be soon!
Looking:  Forward to a little 3 night getaway only booked yesterday. Obviously it is in Queensland as our borders are firmly shut and we are encouraged to travel and holiday within our state. Let’s just say it is somewhere known to get rather cold. We’ll be staying in a rustic cottage with a fireplace and there will be plenty of nature and wine available.
Listening:  To podcasts is something I’m enjoying very much.  With my current inability to read for any great length of time, listening to podcasts is a great alternative. I really should try audio books!
Wishing:  Covid-19 would go away … for good!  Anyone else over it all?

Woorim Beach – Bribie Island (This image was used as the feature image for this post as seen on the home page, but with a painted filter effect.)

Enjoying:  Walking, winter sunshine, and the fact I finally got my feet on a beach and in the ocean on Sunday even if briefly when we took an afternoon drive to Bribie Island just north of us.  (I shared more pics and videos on our visit to Bribie on Instagram – main feed & stories).
Appreciating:  Not having to get up, rush around and commute to a job. I did that for decades and actually enjoyed it at the time (certainly not ALL the time though) but I am filled with much gratitude that nowadays I no longer need to.
Eating:  Too much lately.  Too much snacking!
Liking:  The cooler weather very much!
Loving:  The first coffee of the day on a cool winters morning. Heaven!
Buying:  No Pong natural deodorant. Might not sound exciting but for someone like myself (and one of my sons) who reacts to most deodorants, this is a fabulous, and affordable find!
Managing:  Time is something I could do better. The days just don’t have enough hours in them.
Watching:  The kittens – I could do it for hours and hours. They’re so entertaining!  Here’s a quick video of Axel and Amaya now at 5 months old (excuse me saying “pussy puss” over & over – I was trying to get them to look at the camera).

Hoping:  [Read ‘Noticing’ First] That I at least feel less horrible on the lower dosage patch!
Wearing:  Comfy clothes and layers as I’m mostly home these days.
Following:  Lots of watercolour artists on Instagram and Watercolour painting YouTube tutorials to learn. They all do things differently and it’s fabulous to learn new techniques and ways and try out what might suit me and what might not.
Noticing:  That I am not responding well to HRT patches (I wrote a bit about this in this post). In fact I feel much worse since I’ve been on them. Went to the doctor yesterday and we’re trialling a lower dose patch for a week and then reassessing. Personally, I don’t think it will be much better. I don’t think my body likes the introduction of artificial hormones regardless of dosage. It was worth a try though and we shall see!
Sorting:  Through the garage. We have too much stuff and much of it never used. They’ll be photographed and sold. Apparently ‘Marketplace’ on Facebook is THE place to sell stuff these days.
Getting:  Very low on my foundation and some skin care products. Must remember to order before I get caught out!
Bookmarking:  This morning I bookmarked a crochet pattern. Maybe my crochet bug is starting to come back?!
Coveting:  A getaway, a holiday, nature nature nature! There may have been a booking made for a 3 night getaway in July but more on that at a later date but I did drop a few hints under ‘Looking’.
Feeling:  Sad that my daughter’s time with us has ended and she has gone back now to Cairns.
Hearing:  Children playing at the nearby school.

If you’re interested in Taking Stock too, pop over to this post at Pip’s blog – Meet me at Mikes, where the whole idea originated from. Scroll to the bottom of the post and you can copy and paste a blank list of the prompt words and go from there!  My next Taking Stock post will be at the end of September 2020.

Can you believe that June is nearly over and July will soon be upon us?  My niece and nephew are already on school holidays (private schools) and the public schools will join them as of Friday this week.  I personally love July and August – lovely winter months here in Brisbane – cool mornings and evenings but still warm sunny days (if you’re in the sun). 

Enjoy the rest of your week and remember to take care of yourself. Do things for yourself that make you feel good. You are worth it!

Ciao for now,

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  • Reply Natalie June 25, 2020 at 8:27 am

    Your artwork looks beautiful, Min. I hope you frame it. Glad to hear you booked your get-away. I hope it exceeds your expectations. #lovin’lifelinky

    • Reply Min June 26, 2020 at 10:21 am

      Thanks so much Natalie. I’ve popped it into a frame I had lying around (meant for a certificate). I might put it in a nicer frame when I can get around to buying one. xo

  • Reply Sydney Shop Girl June 25, 2020 at 8:44 am

    Wishing your daughter a safe trip back to Cairns, Min!

    SSG xxx

    • Reply Min June 26, 2020 at 10:21 am

      Thanks SSG! She went back last Friday – so has been gone a week today. xo

  • Reply Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit June 25, 2020 at 9:58 am

    Min!!!! Your painting is DIVINE!!!! You are so so SO very clever. I love your work.

    • Reply Min June 26, 2020 at 10:22 am

      Thank you Leanne! 🙂 xo

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au June 25, 2020 at 11:40 am

    Hi Min – so glad you’ve booked some time away – you sound in need of a restorative break! Sorry the patches didn’t prove to be a miracle – this time of life can really suck hormonally. Loved your watercolours and the kittens too. x

    • Reply Min June 26, 2020 at 10:24 am

      Hi Leanne – I sure am in need of a restorative break! I’m trialling the reduced dosage patch but still not feeling so great so it looks like the HRT patches are no miracle fix for me. This time of life is sucking big time for me ‘hormonally’ unfortunately. Guess I keep trying things till I get to a point where I feel ok to live that way. So glad you enjoyed my painting and the kittens. xo

  • Reply Leslie Susan Clingan June 25, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    Thank you for linking to Natalie Martin’s courses. I have signed up to be notified when the color mixing course is available. I am a huge fan of your watercolors and put watercolor painting on my summer bucket list as an activity to accomplish, thanks to you!! You’ve inspired me.

    Axel and Amaya are adorable. I was proud that I could tell them apart before realizing they were wearing gender significant collar colors! They are very lean and agile. My kitties are now 7 years old…which is hard to believe. And they are becoming a little soft and pudgy.

    I would like to be able to plan a get away but we are practically back to stay-at-home restrictions. And are wearing masks everywhere. Yes, I am about done with Covid, too!!

    • Reply Min June 26, 2020 at 10:27 am

      Leslie – I’m so pleased to hear you’ll be doing Natalie’s next course! We’ll probably be doing it around the same time which will fun. Axel and Amaya have learned to jump on the kitchen bench which is proving interesting. I’m looking for any ideas to discourage this behaviour! I generally have to lock them in the family room whenever I am preparing food now and we need to keep the kitchen benchtops clear at other times. Fun and games! I really hope things improve where you are soon so you can have a nice little getaway. In the meantime, please do stay safe! xo

  • Reply Denyse Whelan June 25, 2020 at 9:30 pm

    I have seen more than you write about Natalie Martin’s courses so best I check it out too. I recently paid for a ‘doodling’ course..even though we in Australia don’t called making patterns…that name. I am enjoying some of the varieties I am learning about but it’s an expensive exchange this USD to our dollar. I couldn’t wear HRT patches for long at all. Gave them away. I think you’d enjoy Audible. It’s 2 books free at first, then a monthly subscription of around $15. I tend to listen to a book and if I find it not great or don’t like the narrator, I can exchange it for another. I listened to Julia Baird reading her own book before buying it too. You can link this post up again if you like…Monday week (6 July) on Life This Week it’s taking stock!

    • Reply Min June 26, 2020 at 10:29 am

      Hi Denyse – that’s interesting that you’ve seen more people write about Natalie’s courses because I’d never heard of her before but found her when doing a Google search. I LOVE her style of art and when I saw she had a course available and at a reasonable price – I jumped on it straight away. I look forward to her next one. I’m not sure if I’m ready to pay $15/week for audible – depends on whether I would use it enough to warrant the expense. Good to know the costs though so thankyou! I will try and remember to link up on Monday! (brain like a sieve!) xo

  • Reply Debbie Harris June 26, 2020 at 9:37 am

    I too love your painting Min, you are so talented! I can hear through your words, that you aren’t quite as frazzled/scared as you were in your March post but as you say, we all need to stay alert. I love a getaway too and hope you have a lovely time, the pandemic is certainly taking its toll for all of us. taking stock posts are always a great way to capture the moment and I really enjoyed reading your words. Take care and keep watching those kittens.

    • Reply Min June 26, 2020 at 10:32 am

      Thank you Deb! Yes with what we’re seeing happening in Victoria it goes to show how careful we still need to be. I can’t wait for that getaway – I really need it! You’re right about Taking Stock posts. I’ve done them for years and it’s very interested to go back and revisit ones from years ago. Reading them can take me right back to that time and they’re fantastic for being able to do that! 🙂 xo

  • Reply Deborah June 29, 2020 at 10:25 am

    Had to go back and read the other post about your HRT. I hope things improve for you. I’m relieved to have finished with it all but really have no idea of the impact in the years after your period finishes (about 2yrs now for me). Do I still have symptoms or does it finish when your period finishes I wonder?

    I love your watercolour – you’re so artistic, well done!

    I’ve heard good things about Phosphoresence but not read it… though don’t know why!

    • Reply Min July 6, 2020 at 11:03 am

      Hi Deb – I’m far from finished with peri/menopause stuff unfortunately. The HRT brought on a period so I’m back to square one again. Fun times! I’m glad you like my watercolour. I need to do some more painting. I haven’t for a while now! Same with Phosphorescence – I started it but haven’t got back to it. I need to read through the day as I’m too tired at night. I’ll probably get it read when we go away next week for a few days. 🙂

  • Reply Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid June 29, 2020 at 2:06 pm

    Oh my the kittens are so grown up! How are you finding Phosphoresence? It really seems to the book of the moment, I know so many people who are reading it! We have booked some getaways for July but cannot wait for the borders to reopen so we can rebook our Brisbane road trip that we had to cancel in May . Your watercolour is beautiful, you are so talented with a camera, a crochet hook and now a paintbrush, I bet there’s nothing you can’t turn your hand to!

    • Reply Min July 6, 2020 at 11:05 am

      The kittens will be 6 months around mid-July! Time flies! I started Phosphorescence but need to get back to it. I must admit that the start of it didn’t reel me in but I will persist. I’ll probably get it read next week when we go away for a few days! Thanks so much for your kind words Sammie. I seem to be a bit of a Jill of lots of trades but master of none! I do love being creative though! 🙂

  • Reply Sydney Shop Girl June 29, 2020 at 2:23 pm

    I’m loving the cool winter mornings .. for now. Not sure how long the novelty will last for me.
    What a beautiful watercolour! I’ve plunged head first into the world of crochet…

    SSG xxx

    • Reply Min July 6, 2020 at 11:06 am

      I’m loving the cool winter mornings too! Always do and that will not stop! lol Lovely to hear you’re doing some crochet! You’ll have to show off your creation/s! xo

  • Reply Joanne Tracey June 29, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    I love your art! I just finished reading Phosphorescence and really enjoyed it. I’m toying with the idea of some type of HRT – but only toying with it at the moment – so your experience is an interesting one. Oh, and the kittens are oh so cute.

    • Reply Min July 6, 2020 at 11:09 am

      Thanks Jo. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed Phosphorescence. I started it but found it hard to get into. I haven’t got back to it but I will. I’ll probably get it read next week when we’re away. Good luck with the HRT if your toying extends to trying! xo

  • Reply Vanessa June 29, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    A cottage with a fireplace sounds perfect. Might as well appreciate the little winter we get here.

    • Reply Min July 6, 2020 at 11:09 am

      My thoughts exactly! 🙂

  • Reply Denyse Whelan July 1, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    Dear Min, you remembered to link up! Thanks so much. Actually I had your art teacher’s name mixed up with another on-line.
    Thank you so much for linking up. We are more half way through the year now. Next week it’s time for: 27/51 Taking Stock #3 6.7.2020 so I look forward to seeing you then, on or off prompt. Denyse.

    • Reply Min July 6, 2020 at 11:10 am

      Hi Denyse! I know – it’s a bit of a miracle really! Looks like I was a week out though with your Taking Stock prompt! Oh well! Have a great week! xo

  • Reply Veronica @ The Burgeoning Bookshelf July 2, 2020 at 11:06 am

    So good we can now start holidaying in our own state but I really hope Queensland borders are open by end of September as my sister has a big birthday we’ve been planning for a year. I really don’t enjoy winter so I’m feeling lucky it has been so mild this year.

    • Reply Min July 6, 2020 at 11:12 am

      Hi Veronica – well the borders are opening on 10 July (except for Victorians and anyone who has recently been to Victoria). I absolutely LOVE winter – but then of course in Brisbane our winters are so mild. They’re a lovely change from our hot and humid summers which I don’t enjoy at all.

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