Taking Stock – September 2020

September 24, 2020

Savoury Zucchini & Bacon Muffins

Hey there!  It’s time for my 3rd quarterly Taking Stock post for 2020.  Here’s where you can find previous Taking Stock posts.  What a year, huh?  Oh boy!  Anyway – here goes!

Making – time to find some stillness and quiet in each day (trying) in various ways that work for me.

Getting my hands dirty potting up a Fiddle Leaf Fig. I bought this one to replace the one I had looked after for my daughter for around 16 months that she has now reclaimed. You’ll see her gorgeous FLF later in this post.

Taking time out to savour an expresso pod coffee.

Cooking – lots of new recipes to try. Here’s a link to a recipe for some Savoury Zucchini & Bacon Muffins (pictured at top of this post) that I shared recently on Instagram.  Pictured below are only a couple of the heaps of new recipes I’ve tried lately.

Sipping – more water these days as I know I don’t drink enough of it, and occasionally partaking in a wee glass of port as I prepare dinner.  Believe it or not, I have developed a taste for Port! 
Reading – Phosphorescence” by Julia Baird … yes, still.  Perimenopausal symptoms for me include having difficulty concentrating for very long. This is quite sad because I’ve always loved reading. Before the peri set in, I would go through books like there was no tomorrow! 
Waiting – to feel the benefit of an iron infusion I had last Friday (my iron levels have been low for ages but a more recent blood test showed a severe iron deficiency). Apparently it can take 1-3 weeks till you feel the difference.

Face Mask and Handbag

Waiting outside with a coffee for the obligatory 15 mins after having an Iron Infusion. Had to go outside because one can’t drink coffee with a face mask on!

Looking – forward to my next getaway whenever or wherever that might be.
Listening – to the news only as required these days. I get the important facts and then switch off.
Wishing – for an end to Coronavirus and for a happier, safer, more carefree 2021.
Enjoying – catch ups for coffee, lunch and walks with girlfriends – so therapeutic and uplifting!

Lunch out with a friend. My meal in the foreground was a Moroccan Lamb Salad with Tzasiki and was delicious!

This is the view from my favourite local cafe. We’re seated at a table on a decked area underneath a beautiful big Moreton Bay Fig Tree at Cafe La Mer, Manly. If I look down over the balustrade, I see fish swimming in the clear water and sometimes they jump up out of the water. There have even been occasions where I’ve seen a sea turtle or dolphin. It’s a magical place.

The pictures below were taken when spending time with friends. The tree photos were taken while sipping on coffee and chatting with a friend under this gorgeous tree.  The others were taken on various walks with a friend by the bay (Moreton Bay). I’m so lucky to live near the water. It’s very soothing to be around!

Appreciating – having a home. I could not imagine the stress and lack of safety and security of being homeless at any time, but even more so during a global pandemic.
Eating – healthier again. Too many covid snacks and covid kilos were creeping in and on. I’ve reigned it in and am seeing the benefits (more under ‘watching’).
Liking – not having to get up out of bed before I actually wake up!  I  may wake up early but it’s still bliss to not wake to an alarm.
Loving – that my daughter is living a lot closer now, having moved from Cairns to the Gold Coast. We recently enjoyed a lovely day visiting with her, checking out her new apartment (just a hop, step and a jump from the beach), going for coffee and to lunch and walking along the beach.

Buying – some washable/reusable face masks for the ‘boys’ in black from the Chemist Warehouse and they came pretty quickly. Ordered myself a couple of pretty ones from Bundarra on 31 August. Still waiting for them to arrive. Hopefully they’ll be worth the wait!  
Managing – my mental health by recognising what has caused it to nosedive somewhat and doing something about it. Lightened the load. Made some changes. Talking to a Psychologist. It’s been a very crazy year!
Watching – my daily calorie intake right now.  Too many Banana Breads baked for the ‘working from home’rs’ and too many Covid comfort eating snacks saw some weight creep on. I’m doing the Super Fast Diet – 5:2 – Intermittent Fasting. I only started on Monday 14 September but the results so far have been super impressive and I’m feeling SO MUCH BETTER for it!
Hoping – that I get the urge back to partake in some of my interests.  It’s been MIA.  No urge to crochet.  No urge to paint.  No urge to take photographs.  
Wearing – cooler clothes again – t-shirts and 3/4 pants.  It must be spring!  Please don’t be in a rush to come summer.  Let us enjoy a bit more spring first. 
Following – my own advice and applying necessary self-care or as I’ve previously referred to it – taking time out for spiritual maintenance.
Noticing – that there’s been a shift in the blogosphere.  The huge and vibrant blogging community that was there when I first started blogging in 2012 has dissipated.  Some still have blogs but engage less with other blogs.  Some still have blogs but don’t blog much or at all.  Some no longer have blogs.  There are far less link-ups and far less people linking up with link-ups.  There’s a shift towards podcasts.  Perhaps in this busy media & sensory overloaded world ‘listening’ is preferable to ‘reading’.  As things always go though, Podcasts will die off eventually and then what?  Holograms?  It will be interesting to watch and see!
Sorting – myself out bit by bit. 2020 sure has been different & challenging!
Getting:  the tennis player to move his home office from the dining table (since March) to the spare room (my daughter’s old room) was a very good move indeed and long overdue.
Bookmarking – recipes!  Yummy, nutritious, bang for your calorie buck type recipes.
Coveting – the only thing I could think of to put here was another trip away.  Nothing makes me happier then exploring new places and being amongst nature – be it rainforests, countryside, the beach, or the outback.  
Feeling –  hopeful that the world will soon be in better shape.
Hearing – the tinkering of the bells on my two cats (8 month old kittens actually) collars as I sit here typing this. It’s ‘frisky’ time of day and they’re playing.

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 and final 2020 Taking Stock post will be towards the end of December 2020.  Let’s hope that it’s a good news one and the world is kicking Covid’s butt to the curb.
Take care of yourself.
Ciao for now,

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  • Reply Joanne Tracey September 24, 2020 at 9:41 am

    I love your taking stock…and I’ll be giving those zucchini muffins a go. We didn’t end up having lunch in Manly – we were down to help a friend clean his unit out – he’s stuck in Sydney – but got the whole thing done spo quickly we ended up just going down for coffee. But now I’ve been I can appreciate how beautiful it is.

    • Reply Min September 24, 2020 at 2:22 pm

      Thanks Jo! I’m glad you at least got to have a coffee at Cafe La Mer. It’s beautiful there but can be a bit uncomfortable in windy/cold or wet weather! On a normal sunny day though – it’s gorgeous sitting under the tree on the marina there.

  • Reply Natalie September 24, 2020 at 9:59 am

    Min, I enjoy reading your Taking stock and lovely photos. Your neighbourhood by Moreton Bay looks beautiful. Glad to hear your daughter lives closer to you now which should make it easier to visit each other. Have a wonderful week! #lovin’lifelinky

    • Reply Min September 24, 2020 at 2:22 pm

      Thanks so much Natalie. You have a wonderful week too! xo

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee September 24, 2020 at 10:03 am

    There’s a lot there. The mood thing has affected everyone I think. It’s a very slow and focused exisitance at the moment. I think your loss of urges to do what you love is part of that. But I think if you do them, you might get the urge back while doing it – or try something new. I did life drawing for the first time, and I was terrible, but the experience was actually really enjoyable and meditative. So maybe pick a few random things, just to do, and see where it takes you. As for the blog thing, I dug through some old posts and realised my regular readers back then were many thousands more than now. I don’t really get the podcast thing (I never took to vlogs either). I like Podcasts if they’re investigative or based in science or psychology but not for random opinions or ‘chats’. But I am clearly in the minority…You look after you – enjoy those magnificent vistas we get to enjoy so much on your Insta.

    • Reply Min September 24, 2020 at 2:25 pm

      There IS a lot in this post isn’t there? I’ve tried picking up some crochet but can’t get into it. I am a bit lost at the moment, wandering around at home. Sometimes when I’m like that I just grab the dog and go for a walk or I do some housework or try and read or maybe do some cooking. I’m still not my usual self but I’ll get there. Yes back in the day my old posts would get loads and loads of comments but then there were a lot more link-ups about and a lot more bloggers about and all were very invested. I listen to a few podcasts now and then but have no desire to have one myself. I’d end up putting too much pressure on myself to be perfect at it. I’m at the phase of life where I want a slower more relaxed lifestyle. Thanks Lydia!

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au September 24, 2020 at 10:42 am

    Hi Min – I get a sense of peace coming from this post – it’s like you’ve centred yourself down and you’re focusing on what you need to feel well within yourself. I like that it’s more about “being” rather than “doing” because I think that takes a layer of stress off things. Also loved all the blue skies and water photos – great weather for this time of the year.
    I completely agree with what you said about blogging – it’s definitely decreased in the last few years. My numbers are down, but the engagement is still there. I’ve reduced from 3 posts a week to 1 post – but I don’t want to stop completely because I love the community and the outlet it gives me for my thoughts. Like Lydia, I’ve never understood podcast chats or vlogs – but I have the time to read, so I guess it’s different for everyone. It’ll be interesting to see where it all goes in the years ahead. Stay well and I hope the iron infusion helps you feel brighter – I know how tired I always was when my iron levels bottomed out.

    • Reply Min September 24, 2020 at 2:30 pm

      Hi Leanne, I wanted this post to be more positive and uplifting than more recent ones. I do feel a bit more peaceful now that I am taking steps to feel better. There’s still a way to go but I’ll get there. I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the photos. They’re just phone photos but then phone photos can be pretty good these days. I like to listen to a few podcasts now and then if it has a guest that I’m interested in listening to or it’s on a topic of interest to me, but I have no desire to have a podcast myself. As I said to Lydia – little miss perfection (ME) would put far too much pressure on herself to have it be perfect, and then there is pressure to keep it interesting and engaging in an ongoing way. The iron deficiency was a actually a great discovery because it helps explain so much my total lack of energy and why I’ve been so very tired all the time. Fingers crossed I feel the difference soon. If not, they will double the dose next time.

  • Reply Denyse Whelan September 24, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    This was lovely to read and get a snapshot of where you are now.
    I think COVID has affected us in our moods in a low grade way. Add your iron deficiency to the mix and it really is hard to manage any kind of motivation or action.

    I hope getting outside more helps you. I am not a reader of a book for long any more and I prefer to dip in and out. There are not enough hours in my day to listen to more than one podcast. If I was driving a lot I might more. I put a funny podcast on when I am doing some of my art.

    Take care, it is good to read you are taking steps toward mental and physical wellness. AND that you have your dining room table back.


    • Reply Min September 28, 2020 at 11:53 am

      Thanks Denyse. I hope you’re feeling much better now! xo

  • Reply suzanne vosbikian September 25, 2020 at 6:06 am

    Great ‘taking stock’ post Min. You are moving forward and it shows. I miss some of the link-ups too, but I think people get tired of the responsibility of hosting. I know I would. Podcasts are nice, but I pick and choose who I spend time with; so many hours in the day and all that… I made some strides with my ‘attitude’ this month too. Cooler temperatures and making plans to look forward to were key for me. Take care.

    • Reply Min September 28, 2020 at 11:58 am

      Thanks Suzanne. I hosted a link-up for a short time. I wasn’t sick of hosting it (I loved it) but there wasn’t enough interest/people linking up to warrant continuing with it. I think the mediums of choice for connectivity/expression etc keep shifting and changing and who knows it may go back to the level of interest and interaction I experienced back in 2012/2013 etc. Time will tell. I listened to a Podcast this morning – just one episode. It’s one I enjoy listening to (wouldn’t waste my time on one I didn’t) but one episode is enough in a day for me. I’m glad you’re feeling progress with your ‘attitude’. We were warming up here but we’re currently experiencing a cool change which I’m thoroughly enjoying (others may not)! lol xo

  • Reply Joanne September 25, 2020 at 9:57 am

    I hope the iron infusion works; I’ve been taking two iron supplements for over a year and I keep thinking the doctor’s should retest my blood to see if it’s actually working as I feel so run down all the time. I just love all these beach/seaside photos!

    • Reply Min September 28, 2020 at 12:01 pm

      Thanks Joanne! I think I can feel an improvement from the iron infusion already to be honest. It’s a bit over a week and I’m lasting longer in a day. Before i did what I needed to get done in the mornings because after lunch I was hopeless. You should definitely get that blood test done – could be iron, could be thyroid, you don’t know till you get it checked out. So glad you’ve enjoyed the photos! xo

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