Taking Stock – June 2021

June 28, 2021

Pictured above are some examples of art from my Tuesday morning art classes plus a few bits of recent exploratory art that I’ve done at home. The art classes don’t specialise in any one form of art. They’re a chance to taste test various art mediums. I’m not producing great works of art during the short time frame of classes but I’m learning that there is so much more to art than I ever knew and I’m finding new ways of expressing my creativity that I wasn’t aware of before. I’m also gaining confidence and loosening up on the perfectionism that has always held me back. Basically, I’m loving it!

Hey there!  It’s that time again.  Time to stop for a bit and take stock.  For those new to my blog, I do this quarterly every year – in March, June, September, and December.  Here’s where you can see my March 2021 Taking Stock post or you can see all my previous Taking Stock posts here.

So let’s go!

Making:  art has become part of my life and I’m loving it (see pics above). I’m taste testing different art mediums by attending some art mentoring lessons held locally by a former school art teacher.  I’m discovering things I enjoy and some that are not so much for me. Though watercolour painting is my first love, these new mediums I’m enjoying will only enrich my creative journey. For any art enthusiasts in Brisbane, especially on the south east side check out Studio Yellow!
Getting:  repairs done in the wall of the garage where there’s some termite damage.  If you didn’t know, when we had painters here they discovered termites in an external wall of the garage. After two treatments, they are now gone. Nests have been cleaned out and now timber framework is being replaced and new gyprock placed on and yes that wall will have to be painted again!

Cooking:  lots of slow cooker meals – lovely winter warming soups and stews!

Sipping:  on a small glass of port as I prepare dinner has become a lovely ‘winter warming’ thing to do.

Reading:  a new book The Hypnotist’s Love Story” by Liane Moriarty but must admit it is slow going as I don’t seem to allow myself time out to read during the day and I’m too tired at night. I need a holiday to give myself permission to read!


Waiting:  until 28 July to get my second Astra Zenica Covid jab.  Can you believe they’ve now raised the age for the AZ jab to 60 and above?  Oh well – I’m still going ahead with my 2nd jab as it would be crazy not to.  Next year I hope the booster jab will be the same for all.
Looking:  forward to a new project I plan to start on 1 July 2021.  Stay tuned – more about that in a post I’m publishing on Wednesday 30 June 2021.  I know – two posts in one week but I had to announce it before it actually starts, and I’ll link up the Wednesday post next Monday instead of a brand new post.
Listening:  to Podcasts is something I like to do while I eat my lunch lately. There’s only a couple I listen to as I just don’t find the time to listen to many.
Wishing:  I had a holiday or even just a few nights away booked. Must get on to that. I always enjoy a winter getaway.
Enjoying:  my birthday this year with a lovely lunch at Mum’s local tavern and so lovely that my aunt and uncle from regional NSW were visiting and there also.

My Pork Belly lunch – yum!

My birthday cake was my favourite – Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing – kindly made by one of my sisters

Appreciating:  the cooler weather and break from the Brisbane heat and humidity. I think you’d have to live with the heat we get here for a while to understand the relief it is to have a break from it.
Eating:  far too many snacks.  I’m a Vegemite kid and I love my Vegemite and butter on crackers (Vita-Weats are my fav lately) and I adore crackers with cheese and bread & butter cucumbers!

Liking:  not working full time and doing the twice daily commute anymore!  So grateful for ‘unbusy’ days in comparison to the decades of busy.
Loving:  my morning coffee!  I mean, is there anything better?


Ok, this isn’t my morning coffee at home. This was a coffee I had in the morning though on a Sunday when I went to the local markets. It’s one of my favourite things to do – stroll around the markets and sit with a coffee by the Bay. Heaven!

Buying:  lots of things lately with some birthday money I was given. Some new sneakers from Frankie4, some casual clothes, some art supplies, a couple of cute face vases from Jones & Co on sale.

Managing:  to get all the domestic chores done and also spend some time on blog related stuff or art time is a win in my books!
Watching:  The Dog House on TV on a Saturday night has become something I look forward to.  I blubber like a fool every time though.  I’m such a softie when it comes to animals and I love happy endings!
2022 will be less dominated by copious Covid scares and lockdowns and so forth.
Wearing:  a scarf a day for 13 days was loads of fun!
Following:  a clean diet is more challenging in winter as the munchies tend to hit more.  Is it just me?
Noticing:  my hair has grown a lot and my nails are much stronger and my hip hurts less since I started having a scoop of collagen in my morning coffee each day.  So impressed!  (not sponsored)
Sorting:  out the right balance of activities so I feel organised and fulfilled and not overwhelmed is ongoing!
Getting:  stronger from my twice/weekly pilates classes.
Bookmarking:  art tutorials on YouTube.
Coveting:  a beautiful art studio bathed in natural light and with plenty of storage and lots of space, with a pilates reformer and mat set up in one corner, my computer and desk set up in another.  A ‘ladies cave’ bespoke to me in other words!!
Feeling:  disappointed that after nearly 10 months of no period and being so close to the magic 12 months where I could declare myself post menopausal …. I got a period. The only thing different has been my AZ vaccine. Just saying! A little Google research has shown there have been other menstruation issues reported by thousands of women across the globe, not only after having the AZ vaccine but all of them. Interesting, don’t you think?
Hearing:   the comforting drone of the dishwasher.  I always find that sound of the dishwasher comforting, do you?  As a child, Mum & Dad always put it on before going to bed and so that sound lulled me to sleep most nights.

So there you go, a snapshot of life right now.  If you’d like to Take Stock also, just pop over to the creator of the Taking Stock concept, Pip’s blog – Meet Me At Mikes, and grab the list of word prompts from her last Taking Stock post which you’ll find HERE.

Thanks so much for stopping by and reading my post, especially if you read all the way to here.  It’s so very much appreciated.  Wishing you a super fabulous week ahead!

Ciao for now,

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  • Reply Natalie June 28, 2021 at 7:19 am

    Min, Looks like you had a good second quarter in 2021. I’m glad you’ve been enjoying your art classes. Your food photos make me hungry 🙂 Have a wonderful week! #lifethisweek

    • Reply Min June 28, 2021 at 3:10 pm

      Thanks Natalie – the art classes have been a godsend. They’ve been food for my creative side, my social side, and my mental health! I’m glad my food photos had the desired affect! lol Hope you have a great week too!

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee June 28, 2021 at 8:46 am

    I too am hoping 2022 is an improvement. I’m quite done with this stuff. Also furious about the AZ age change. I actually tried to jump thru a few hurdles (and wrote to ATAGI) to get Pfizer but no go. Literally a week after my shot, they changed the age. Still in my 30 day risk period, but so far so good re clots. Just not enough virus protection for my liking. I love your coffee with a view. That looks PERFECT! and port, I didn’t know anyone drank port! We just gave some bottles away to the youth hostel up the road. They’d been in the cupboard for over a decade….

    • Reply Min June 28, 2021 at 3:15 pm

      I’m out of the 30 day risk period now with AZ but will be back in it again when I get the second jab. I know it’s like 20% less effective than Pfizer but at least it’s far better than 0% protection – that’s how I’m looking at it. I’m hoping that next year we all get the same jab with the same (and higher %) protection. OMG – I love port! I never used to drink it and never thought I would but I had some one day and it was this glorious warming sensation and I’ve loved it since. It’s more a winter drink in my books but I’d have it all year around to be honest.

  • Reply Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid June 28, 2021 at 10:16 am

    Love a good taking stock sitch! How good is The Dog House? I’ve missed it while I’ve been away and look forward to catching up and no, it’s not just you with the munchies in winter! Talking of treats and eats your slow cooker creations look yummy and your art is fabulous. Now I have a hankering for cheese, pickle and crackers, I think I’m going to request those in my next quarantine care package!

    • Reply Min June 28, 2021 at 3:18 pm

      I love watching The Dog House – glad to find someone else who does too! The winter munchies must be a thing – combine it with quarantine and/or lockdown and well um – oh well! I hope you’re coping ok in quarantine there Sammie! Hope it’s not much longer till you’re home again. Also hope you get some yummy cheese, pickle and crackers in your next quarantine care package. Yum!! xo

  • Reply sherry June 28, 2021 at 12:19 pm

    hi there Min. i was reading sammie’s latest post and saw your comment so i jumped over here. Lovely to have coffee by the Bay. I am in brissie too! isn’t the weather amazing right now? i love winter !! We were lucky to get back from Ballina last night without any border issues. Now it’s back to masks everywhere here. take care

    • Reply Min June 28, 2021 at 3:22 pm

      Hi Sherry – how nice of you to pop over and visit me. Thank you! Great to meet another Brissie blogger (virtually)! The weather is gorgeous right now. I absolutely love our winters. I’m not a fan of Brissie summer’s I’ve got to say. Too hot and humid for me. You were very lucky to get back from Ballina without any drama. I think it will be more difficult very soon. Things are heating up somewhat, and yes – masks again – ugh! Take care. xo

      • Reply sherry June 29, 2021 at 7:49 pm

        masks and lockdown! oh the joy.

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au June 28, 2021 at 12:50 pm

    Hi Min – happy belated birthday and I loved all your artwork – I don’t think any of us need to be perfect at something to enjoy it – and the more we do it, the better we get. I’m telling myself that as I start practicing some hand lettering….I have a long way to go! Interesting about the collagen being such a big help and also about AZ and your period – weird indeed.

    • Reply Min June 28, 2021 at 3:25 pm

      Thanks Leanne! I agree – the more we do something (practice, practice, practice) the better we get at it. Also the more relaxed we are, the better we do it. I think it’s great you’re doing some hand lettering. Good on you! The collagen has been amazing and very good price compared to all the others I’ve looked at. I have one scoop every day in my morning coffee. It’s got no flavour so you don’t even know you’re having it but it sure has made a noticeable difference for me. Very interesting about the AZ and my period isn’t it. Though to be fair my Googling shows me it’s not just AZ. Hope you have a great week!

  • Reply Leslie Susan Clingan June 28, 2021 at 1:28 pm

    Happy birthday!! Sounds like you were well celebrated and well loved.

    Thank you for sharing your art with us. How I can appreciate the way perfectionism can keep one from just enjoying the creativity. I am beginning to loosen up a little, too, but still have a ways to go. I need to remember to focus on the journey , the experience, the learning process and not worry so much about the final product. How wonderful that you are being exposed to and given opportunities to experience all these forms of art.

    Your craft area or creative space is lovely. Mine is very small and allows only room for me to work on one project at a time. And has very little light…natural or otherwise. So I share your dream of a brightly lit space to create.

    Would love for you to share your soup recipes. I think one looks like a broccoli soup, maybe? And then a squash or pumpkin? PC always wants MEAT in his soup but I would love to have a good squash or pumpkin soup recipe.

    Hoping that recent period was just your last hurrah. I had to wind up having a partial hysterectomy 16 years ago – cannot believe it has been that long. Was glad to keep my ovaries and not go into menopause immediately after the surgery.

    Enjoyed catching up with you.

    • Reply Min June 28, 2021 at 3:32 pm

      Thank you Leslie! Perfectionism has been an exhausting thing to live with. I’ve shaken it in some aspects of my life but it still clings to others. It has stopped me achieving things as I set the bar too high for myself. It’s a terrible thing. I am finding though that with the encouragement of my ‘art teacher’ and others that it’s starting to loosen a bit and hopefully with time I’ll be able to enjoy it without being so self critical and hard on myself. The craft area or creative space you see in the photo collage isn’t mine – that’s at the art class. Mine at home is a tiny area on an L shaped desk set up. One part of the L has my computer and printer and the other part of the L is where I do art. Sadly it’s a very dark room and I have to work under artificial light so it’s not an ideal set up – hence my dream of a beautiful spacious light filled studio! lol Re the soups etc – if you hover your mouse over the pics it has the name of each of them typed – Moroccan Chicken Stew, Thai Style Pumpkin Soup, Zucchini & Parmesan Soup, Chicken Orange Stir-Fry. I’ll try and share the recipes some time for sure! I hope that period was my last hurrah but who knows? I’ve thought that a few times now! It’s certainly dragging on and on and on! Thanks Leslie – have a great week!

  • Reply Debbie Harris June 29, 2021 at 3:11 pm

    A great catch up Min, I love all your artworks and your scarf a day posts were fun! It was interesting reading about taking collagen each morning and the results you noticed. I was taking it for a while but stopped but at my last hair appointment she commented that I had so much new growth and could see a real difference. i didn’t mention I had been taking collagen but now I’m thinking I will start again. Your hair looks lovely!!

  • Reply Denyse Whelan June 30, 2021 at 7:35 pm

    Oh Min that was such a joyful catch up…except for the period ..bleurgh. Once our son moved out of home (took till 25) I immediately converted the whole space for me and creativity. I admit it did become converted to a grandchildren’s room when we started caring for them more often. But I had lots of stock building up, and dear husband was able to give me some place in our indoor room and the grandkids who were old enough could join me too. Very happy memories of that. I am now sitting trying in a room that is mine. It’s a rented house but I have three walls of this room with desks, shelves and storage – all stuff my husband and I moved with us from Sydney. I have one big desk for art, another for photos and scrapbooking and this one for my computer. Time for you!! Find a room. Boot someone out!! Thank you for sharing your post for #LifeThisWeek at Denyse Whelan Blogs. It’s been great to see you here and thanks so much for your contribution to the community of bloggers who link up from Mondays to Wednesdays (Australian Eastern Time). Next Monday the optional prompt is Taking Stock. And we are past half way for my 2021 Blogging Year! Denyse.

    • Reply Min July 2, 2021 at 1:58 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it Denyse – except for the ‘bleurgh’ bit (I agree)! It’s very hard to claim space for myself with two kidults still at home and constant lockdowns with three of them working from home! At least I have a spot I guess. It’s just not ideal because of the lack of natural light. It’s very dark! xo

  • Reply Sanch @ Sanch Writes July 4, 2021 at 7:11 am

    Loving your artwork Min! It looks great. The Hypnotist’s love story is a good book – not one of her best, that’s for sure but I liked it. You’ve given me a great idea with cheese, crackers and pickled cucumbers! As for the AZ vaccine, if you didn’t have adverse effects the first time, you should be fine for the second one. Although I’m with you on the inconsistent messaging. A friend of mine in her twenties is a nurse and got her AZ at work a while ago – and that very same day, they announced that under 50s should not get the AZ. Poor thing was so anxious but she was fine and just got her second one this week. I just really hope people get their act together and get vaccinated and well, the government actually gets vaccines for us! Hope you have a lovely July

    • Reply Min July 6, 2021 at 8:33 am

      Hi Sanch, thanks for the compliment on the art work. It’s all just quick and exploratory – taste testing stuff. Still finding what will be my thing! Re the AZ I had some effects the first time but not too bad and within a few days I felt myself again. Apparently the 2nd should have less effect or none. Regardless, I’ll be having it so I have completed full vaccination … until the booster next year. I really hope we can get the % of Australia vaccinated up much higher than it presently is by the end of this year!

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