Taking Stock – June 2023

July 19, 2023
Taking Stock

I’m taking a break this week from my New Zealand trip posts and my ‘Art Chat’ travel sketches to do my June Taking Stock post which I nearly forgot! It’s my second quarterly Taking Stock post for 2023. The last one was towards the end of March and can be read here.

Let’s jump straight into it!

Making:  A variety of different soups for Mum. She loves soup in winter! 
Getting:  Back into the swing of being back home again after my wonderful holiday in New Zealand.
Cooking:  Meals up for Mum every second Monday (in addition to the soups I make when I’m over there)
Sipping:  Water a lot lately. Making an effort to be better hydrated because I wasn’t drinking enough of it.
Reading:  Fast like a girl by Dr Mindy Pelz – I’ve started intermittent fasting. Along with the fact of being out of my usual routine because I’m rarely at home, a few post menopausal kg’s have crept up on me and have made me feel uncomfortable but in addition to that, the health benefits of intermittent fasting are vast and valuable. Dr Mindy Pelz is a fountain of knowledge and I’m loving learning the science behind all of this. Fascinating! You can find her in lots of places but best place is on  YouTube if you’re interested.
Thinking:  is what a recent trip into the city to see ‘The Art of Banksy’ Exhibition with a friend made me do. His art works were very thought provoking! You’ll see a small sample below.

Remembering:  As I write each NZ Trip post for the blog – it’s like revisiting the whole trip over again – remembering all the beautiful scenery and experiences.  
Looking:  at the photos from our road trip around the south Island of New Zealand makes me realise just how lucky we were. So sad that it already seems so long ago now!
Listening:  to the silence at Doubtful Sound was one of the most magical moments of my life. They killed the motor on the boat and everyone was silent and we just listened to the silence (and the rain). It was magical. I took a little video of this experience and it will be shared in a future NZ Trip post.
Wishing:  I was back in New Zealand often! Start me off at Queenstown and I’d be a very happy girl!
Enjoying:  a few waterfront walks and visits to the local markets lately.
Appreciating: my sister for staying with Mum each week from Tuesday to Thursday for 4 weeks straight so I could have my holiday. I’m now doing the same for her while she’s over in Scotland and Ireland! (this is why I’m slack on social media, slow to respond to comments and/or read others’ blog posts etc at the moment).
Wanting: less drama and trauma and corruption and horrible stuff in the world!
Eating: good fats (like avocado), protein, fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi and the odd bit of  chocolate (a girl needs her choccy!)
Finishing: my travel sketchbook is proving a bit difficult at the moment with all the time I’m over at Mum’s. I take it with me but there’s never time, and when I get home there’s a lot to catch up on around the house and a blog to try and keep going. All in good time. I am trying to be kind to myself.
Liking: the fact that I’ve shed some weight and feeling better within myself as a consequence.
Loving: the fact that on Thursday last week we FINALLY had our ACAT reassessment (via phone) done for Mum. We have been waiting since January and it’s been marked as urgent! Hoping I love the outcome too. Fingers crossed!
Buying: hair products! Georgiemane have a very good social media presence that’s for sure. I see it everywhere and I had to try it – specifically the hair mask. It’s awesome! Us ladies in the menopausal years (be it peri, meno or post meno) would know that our hair isn’t quite as thick and luscious as it used to be. These products claim to increase hair growth so I had to give it a go. I’ve only used the hair mask so far (a few times) but have ordered a few more products because the hair mask makes my hair feel and look amazing! Softer, shinier, thicker! I haven’t used it long enough to know if it has increased hair growth yet though. I’m not sponsored by the way, just impressed!
Watching: a few Netflix movies with Mum. Gosh some of them are so cheesy! 

Taking Stock

Waterfront, Wynnum Manly, Brisbane

Taking Stock

Waterfront, Wynnum Manly, Brisbane

Taking Stock

Wynnum Waterfront, Brisbane

Taking Stock

Manly Boat Harbour, Brisbane

Hoping:  everything will be ok. Yep – I just want everything and everyone to be ok.
Wearing: my new Greenstone (Jade) earrings that I bought at Arrowtown in New Zealand. I wanted to bring a little bit of NZ Greenstone home with me and these earrings were just the thing (and all I could afford – lol)! I’ll probably share of photo of them in a future NZ Trip post.
Walking:  was one of the most enjoyable things we did on the NZ holiday! We walked in mountains, forests, around lakes, in Fiordlands, and more. I relished every moment of all of it. Such diversity of nature filled my cup and then some. You can see a few different bedraggled faces of Min walking in various part of NZ above.
Following:  a lot of friends and family (& general people I follow on social media) who are currently travelling! Many in Europe and the UK and an aunt in Africa and more! It’s great to see travel back as part of life again isn’t it?
Noticing:  that along with lack of time, my ability to sit and focus and do some art isn’t there at the moment. I kinda covered the why to this under ‘finishing’ but getting my mind into the relaxed state it needs to be to do my art is also an issue at the moment. Anyway – just going with the flow and being kind to myself.
Saving:  for another holiday! Yes please!
Waiting: for an ACAT reassessment for Mum has finally come to an end with the appointment finally taking place last Thursday morning. Higher level ACAT approval will hopefully soon be forthcoming that will make life a little easier and safer for Mum!
Bookmarking: with a real bookmark the book I’m reading at the moment which is mentioned under ‘Reading’.
Coveting:  Another holiday! Yes, I have the travel bug plus have realised the enormous benefits to my health at all levels by getting away and learning and exploring new places!
Feeling: Great since starting the intermittent fasting. It’s helping to undo a lot of travel eating where I ate stuff that I’d not normally eat and emotional eating with the stresses I’ve had lately, and it’s making me feel a lot better!
Hearing:  Axel meowing. He wants my attention! He has just jumped up onto my desk and onto his little bed I have there for him.

As you can see, our holiday to the south island of New Zealand features heavily in this post. It was the holiday I’ve most needed ever, and it was exactly the right kind of holiday that I needed.  It was very hard when it ended but I’m so grateful to have had those three weeks of feeling free of domesticity and responsibilities for a little while and was so excited to learn, discover, and experience new things. It made me realise how important a decent length holiday is for our wellbeing and how much I thrive on exploring and learning about new places and being out in nature.

My next Taking Stock post will be towards the end of September 2023. Meanwhile, next week will be another Art Chat post and the week following will be the next NZ Trip post.

Ciao for now,

Linking up with Denyse Whelan’s ‘Wednesday’s Words and Pics

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  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au July 19, 2023 at 11:31 am

    Hi Min – I’m so glad the NZ holiday lived up to (and exceeded) your expectations. It sounds like you had an absolute blast and it gave you a much needed break from all your responsibilities. You’re such a good daughter doing all the cooking and caring for your mum – she’s very lucky to have you and your sister during this time. I hope you’re settling back in well and finding some time for yourself in amongst all your commitments. x

    • Reply Min July 20, 2023 at 2:58 pm

      Hi Leanne, my NZ trip sure did live up to and exceed expectations. I really needed it and loved every moment. I try and be a good daughter. Mum has been a very good Mum and deserves lots of love and attention in her old age. I’m not getting a lot of time for myself right now but it’s temporary. Once my sister is back I’ll get more time to settle in and do a few of the things I enjoy – like art! Thanks Leanne. xo

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee July 20, 2023 at 9:36 am

    There are some really beautiful pics using the water light and reflections. I’m very keen to see the Banksy when it comes here. Love the Paranoid Pictures. hehehe.
    I’m glad for you that both you and your sister can look after your mum. It’s good to know there’s back up on hand. It’s rough and exhausting but ultimately when you reflect on it, it’s a rewarding luxury. All we can give people is our time. #WWandP

    • Reply Min July 20, 2023 at 2:59 pm

      Thanks Lydia – hope you get to see Bansky! Looking after Mum can be all consuming and hard to switch off from but you only get one Mum and I know from losing Dad that once they’re gone, they’re gone. Mum has been a wonderful Mum and deserves every bit of TLC she gets! xo

  • Reply Denyse Whelan July 21, 2023 at 5:27 pm

    Oh gosh, I am glad about the ACAT situation but seriously it is awful to have those waits. I am pleased you are still really loving your memories from NZ. I am also not surprised that you are finding settling to things a bit hard right now. I get that. So much on your mind!! You are an awesome daughter….

    Thank YOU so much for sharing your post for Wednesday’s Words and Pics. I appreciate your presence as part of the community! Denyse.

    • Reply Min July 23, 2023 at 4:46 pm

      Hi Denyse, the wait for the ACAT reassessment was ridiculous. It took a very ‘to.the.point’ email from me to finally get some action. I loved NZ so much I know that I will most definitely go back again. I do have a lot on my mind right now. It’s not easy but I’m managing. I know that I have to let some things slide and apply as much self care as I can in order to be able to do what I need to do. xo

  • Reply Debbie Harris July 21, 2023 at 6:21 pm

    This was a lovely Taking Stock Min, full of travel bits and family bits. I know it’s hard with your mum at the moment and your holiday was just what you needed. I know that feeing about not being able to focus after being away, I’m ion that zone at the moment. The fasting sounds good, well done I need that too!

    • Reply Min July 23, 2023 at 4:49 pm

      Thanks Deb, I know that you know how it feels to come back home after a lovely holiday and adjust back into the usual routine. One thing it’s made me realise is that I need to get outdoors into nature MUCH more than I do. It’s why I’ve been making sure to get to the waterfront and the markets each weekend – just to get outdoors and out of the house – even though I have a million jobs need doing. The fasting is working. It’s slow but it’s working and I actually don’t find it difficult at all. xo

  • Reply sherry July 22, 2023 at 5:46 pm

    we love NZ, and have done several trips. At least it’s close on a plane, cos i really hate flying 🙂 It’s harder to shed the weight in our old(er) age so good on you. Banksy was surprisingly enjoyable. I didn’t think I would like it as much as I did. Good luck with your mum’s Acat stuff.

    • Reply Min July 23, 2023 at 4:52 pm

      Hi Sherry – isn’t NZ just gorgeous! The scenery, the people, the public toilets! LOL Must admit I’ve become a bit of a nervous flyer as I’ve gotten older. Mostly it’s the landings. They scare the @*&S@! out of me – the anticipation of touchdown. BOTH landings for this trip were not great – BIG bumps where people actually let out little squeals. Sigh. I survived thankfully! Banksy was different than I expected. Lots of stencilling which I’m not a huge fan of but with very strong messages and very clever and then artworks that blew me away with his talent. Mum was approved for a level 3 Home Care Package (previously level 2) – still not enough but an improvement so I dare not whinge! xo

  • Reply Leslie Susan Clingan July 28, 2023 at 9:43 am

    Glad to read that your trip was such a delight and that looking at photos and remembering the things you did while on holiday continues to bring you pleasure. We are fortunate to live in a time when taking photos is so easy and that we can see the photos immediately and retake, when necessary, to capture the best perspective of the objects in our lens. I remember my father’s disappointment over and over when he would get photos developed from our family trips only to discover they were terribly blurry or the exposure wasn’t good. He tried so hard and was so often disappointed.

    Hope the ACAT assessment determines whatever you might need it to!! Looks like it is an assessment required for possibly get more care for your mom. Not sure what form that would take but hope you can get some help for keeper her healthy and safe and well cared for. My mom was in assisted living for the last 12 years of her life but even that was not enough. We debated back and forth about putting her in memory care or putting her in a nursing home but eventually the decision was taken out of our hands.

    I remember being unable to do much more than worry about mom when things were not going well. Even though I was miles and miles away, I slept with my phone beside the bed and some days could barely function for worrying about how to help her. You and your sister sound like a good tag team. Glad you have that support.

    • Reply Min July 29, 2023 at 11:12 am

      Hi Leslie, thanks so much. I really did love our holiday so much. It was just what I needed! I remember the old film photo’s and getting them developed only to be disappointed at poor quality photos! Times have changed for the better in that respect! lol We got ACAT approval for level 3 Home Care Package. One level up from where we were. It’s better and we’re grateful for it but it’s still not quite enough. We’ll do the best we can though. Mum wants to stay in her own home so we’re doing the best we can to give her that as long as it’s possible. I know the worry. It would have been so hard for you living far away. I live about 45-60 minutes drive away so though that’s in the same city – it’s still not close enough to pop over easily. xo

  • Reply Donna Connolly July 28, 2023 at 1:43 pm

    Hi, Min – Thank you for linking up with us at #WBOYC. This is a wonderful taking stock post, I love the format.
    Sending warm vibes to you and your sister as you take care of your mom. You sound like a wonderful team.

    • Reply Min July 29, 2023 at 11:15 am

      Thanks so much Donna. xo

  • Reply Sue from Women Living Well After 50 July 28, 2023 at 1:50 pm

    Hi Min, I always enjoy a ‘Taking Stock’ post and you’ve certainly a lot going on. I’m sure you feel better having lost some kgs. How are you finding the Intermittant Fasting? I’m sure your Mum appreciates all you do for her and yes, it is the perfect weather for some warming soups. I really enjoyed your NZ posts and I agree about Doubtful Sound. We cruised through Milford and Doubtful and it was breathtaking. I’m wanting some new hair products myself so I will check out your recommendations. Enjoy August and take care xx

    • Reply Min July 29, 2023 at 11:18 am

      Hi Sue, it sure has been busy for me lately. I do feel better having lost a few kg’s but would like to lose more. It’s the ‘not being in my own home and routine’ that’s done it but I’ve got control back now I think. I quite like Intermittent Fasting. It works for me and I’m deep diving into research about it and learning of all the other health benefits it offers which makes it even more worthwhile. I’m glad you enjoyed my NZ posts. Milford and Doubtful Sounds were magical weren’t they? Hope your upcoming medical appt has positive results and August is a much healthier month for you! xo

  • Reply Christie Hawkes July 29, 2023 at 6:19 am

    I’m so glad your New Zealand trip was everything you needed it to be, Min. Sending warm wishes to you, your sister, and your Mum.

    • Reply Min July 29, 2023 at 11:18 am

      Thanks very kind of you – thank you Christie! xo

  • Reply Joanne Tracey July 29, 2023 at 8:22 am

    NZ is always a good idea and it sounds very much as though its rejuvenated you in all the ways you needed to be rejuvenated. Thanks for linking up – I always enjoy a good taking stock…

    • Reply Min July 29, 2023 at 11:19 am

      I understand why you keep going back now Jo. I loved it so much and can’t wait till I can get back there again! xo

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