Taking Stock – September 2023

September 27, 2023

It’s time for my 3rd quarterly Taking Stock post for 2023. All previous Taking Stock posts can be seen here. I hope you enjoy catching up on what’s been going on lately for me and please be sure to read my announcement towards the end of this post.

Let’s go!

Making:  Cards for people lately rather then buying them. One for a cousin’s birthday, one for a sister’s birthday, and one as a thank you card for someone.
Getting:  Better Blood Pressure readings now. I’ve had to go onto medication (low dose at this point) for high blood pressure.
Cooking:  Up Mum’s favourite meals to freeze so she’s kept well stocked.
Sipping:  Water. I need to hydrate better!
Reading:  Better now with my new reading glasses!
Thinking:  Too much day and night. So much to remember, to do, and sadly to worry about. Yoga and Pilates in the mornings helps and Sleep Stories on YouTube help at night (I like Stephen Dalton).
Remembering:  My New Zealand trip every time I write a new NZ Trip post or sketch in my travel sketchbook.
Looking:  through all the zillions of photos I took in New Zealand trying to decide which ones to include in my NZ Trip blog posts and which ones to draw/paint in my sketchbook is very time consuming!
Listening:  to Podcasts when I can and sleep stories (see under ‘Thinking’) when I go to bed to help switch off my brain.
Wishing:  I had another longer holiday planned to look forward to. Must get on to that.
Enjoying:  Beautiful skin care products. I enjoy my morning and evening skin care routines that leave my skin feeling hydrated, dewy, nourished and glowing!
Appreciating:  all the happy carefree years of my life and happy childhood memories.
Wanting:  Mum to be happy, well and safe.
Eating: Some ‘Kimchi’ most days as part of my lunch. I love it and it’s good for me. For those unfamiliar with it, Kimchi is a kind of traditional, slightly spicy Korean sauerkraut made from fermented vegetables. Its basic vegetables are usually napa cabbage, daikon radish, and carrots. Garlic, ginger, and Korean chili (gochugaru) are added for flavour. Because it’s a fermented food, it boasts numerous probiotics. My research tells me … “It may help regulate your immune system, promote weight loss, fight inflammation, and even slow the aging process.”  Worth a try and I love it anyway!
Finishing:  my travel sketchbook is going to take me a while! It’s slow going. I don’t get a lot of time for it but I’m trying to find ways to get more. I’d like to complete it and move on to other art projects.
Liking:  the fact that my blood pressure has gone down a lot. So happy about that!
Loving: that Mum’s sister and brother-in-law came to spend a week with Mum and it made her happy.
Buying: a Blood Pressure Monitor (this one) because it is needed to monitor my BP now that I’ve started on medication. I bought it on sale which is great but double lucky me – my private health insurance will cover all costs – hooray!
Watching: Miss Potter (Beatrix Potter) on Netflix with Mum was so enjoyable! I might even watch it again.
for some rain but not sure that will happen since Australia has been officially declared in ‘El Niño’. El Niño will bring hotter, drier conditions with an elevated fire risk which is very worrying. It’s already so dry everywhere and there’s already been some terrible bush fires. Still, I have some hope that we get some rain to help us out a bit *fingers crossed*!!
Wearing: a 24 hour Ambulant Blood Pressure Monitor was like wearing a torture device! It pumped up VERY VERY TIGHT every 30 minutes day and night (was supposed to be hourly at night but nope) and left my upper arm bruised and red. I was so glad to get it off! Anyway – it proved that my average BP over that time was 159/91 which was way too high and so now I’m on low dose BP tablets and so far the improvement in BP readings is amazing.  After 3 weeks on the medication I do morning and night readings for a week and send those through to the doctor and we go from there! By the way … I don’t smoke, barely ever drink, exercise every day, eat healthy. This is genetic. My Dad had high BP and Mum too – both on BP medication.
Walking: is something I need to do more of but I just don’t seem to find the time. At least I am consistent with my yoga and pilates each day!
Following: my gut instinct and taking action to carve out a little more time for myself to do some art
Noticing:  that my NZ Trip posts are eating up a lot of my time and I need more time to do some art, in case previous word prompts haven’t let you know this yet! 🤣
Saving: money having bought a new vacuum cleaner through someone who works there and gets a staff discount!
Waiting:  for my collagen powder to arrive recently went down to the wire. It arrived just after the last spoonful had be used up so just in time for the next day!
Bookmarking: any recipe I come across that looks appealing. I’m getting a little bored of my regular ones!
Coveting: another longer holiday plan somewhere new for next year!
Feeling: much better since being on the BP medication and my BP readings being lower.
Hearing: was tested when I had my eyes tested last at Specsavers and all is AOK there thank goodness!

And that’s a wrap on my 3rd quarterly Taking Stock post for this year. The next one will be sometime in mid-late December.

ANNOUNCEMENT:  As I’ve eluded to within this post, I’m not finding enough time to do my art. The NZ Trip posts that I’ve been doing (and will continue to do until I finish) are very time consuming to do. There’s lots of images and videos to get off my phone and to edit, resize, upload either to YouTube or here to the blog and then there’s all the backend work of descriptions and meta tags etc.  That’s all before I’ve even written the post etc etc.  As most of you would know, I spend a good portion of every second week over at my mothers caring for her. In addition to that, I have a lot of time taken up related to aged care in relation to her home care package, home maintenance, medical appointments, and more. The little time I have left has been spent catching up on domestic chores at home, making and attending my own medical appointments, trying to chill out a bit, and attempting to keep up with producing one blog post per week and keep my social media relatively active. In doing this, I’ve not much time left to do any art. I have nearly posted all the sketches/paintings I’ve done in my NZ travel sketchbook. After my planned Art Chat post next week I will run out. I need to get a bit of stock of them done so I’m not chasing my tail all the time. So, I need to open up more time for myself so I can get more art done.  For this reason I am going to take a break from the blog. I will publish an Art Chat post next week on Wednesday 4 October and after that I will be absent from the blog until 1 November 2023.

Please forgive me for being absent in the blogosphere for a while. I won’t be writing and publishing posts and I won’t be reading and commenting on other blog’s posts … until I return. I’m sure you can all understand. I will still be active on Instagram (mostly in my stories) and anything posted in the grid there will automatically post also on my blog’s Facebook page. In the meantime, try and carve out a little bit of time for yourself in each and every day that sparks a little joy, even if it’s as small as holding and savouring the first coffee of the day while listening to the morning birds sing. Take good care of yourselves and I’ll look forward to catching up with what you’ve been up to when I return (however, you’ll see me around next week before I disappear for a little while).

If you want to take stock too you can visit Pip, the creator of the Taking Stock concept at Meet Me at Mikes for the prompts (scroll to the bottom of the post) OR you could use Denyse Whelen’s A-Z prompts (AOK’d by Pip) which I might use for my final 2023 Taking Stock post in mid-late December.

Ciao for now,

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

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  • Reply Lydia C. Lee September 27, 2023 at 7:34 am

    It’s good to take breaks – makes you miss it. I usually take the school holidays off. I’m only half back now….It reinvigorates you. So don’t be sorry. Do what you need to enjoy it. Because it should be about enjoyment.
    You’ve got me wondering about collogen powder – does it work? Hope your stress goes or becomes manageable. It’s a very hard time at this age.
    Take care and see you in November. #WWandpics

    • Reply Min September 27, 2023 at 5:29 pm

      Hi Lydia – I agree about taking breaks. It’s been a long time since I’ve taken a decent break from the blog. I’m not sure that a break from 4 October to 1 November will be long enough but I’ll play it by ear! I don’t feel bad about it. I need to do it. I love the days I publish a new post though so I’ll miss that little buzz I get. Need the break very much though! With regards to Collagen powder – I feel like my skin has improved since I’ve been having (just once a day in my coffee) it but anyway – it makes me feel good that I’m doing something to help myself get something that my body is no longer producing enough of. I get one that has no flavour and can be added to hot or cold drinks. I add it to my coffee because it makes it nice and creamy but doesn’t affect the taste.

  • Reply Debbie Harris September 27, 2023 at 11:22 am

    Hi Min, you have so much going on in your life it’s probably a great time to take a break and give yourself some time. A break will do you good I’m sure. I hear you on the BP, mine is genetic too and the low dose of medication has helped a great deal, so I’m glad you’ve got that under control. I always enjoy Taking Stock posts and enjoyed your responses. Take care x

    • Reply Min September 27, 2023 at 5:31 pm

      Hi Deb, yes it’s time! I really need the break. I am ALWAYS busy. Busy at Mum’s. Busy at Home. And I can never seem to get on top of all that needs to be done. And I’m not getting time to do art. I really want to get the travel sketchbook finished so I can move on to other stuff. Fancy you being on low dose BP medication too & it being genetic. Another thing in common! Thanks for reading my post and taking the time to comment! xo

  • Reply Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid September 27, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Love a good Taking Stock post. I’m pleased you’re taking some time out for yourself – we’ll still be here when you get back! Great news re the BP – I’ve been on low dose BP meds for years. I just have to look at a BP monitor and I start to feel anxious! I find it so much more relaxing to do the readings at home. And how good is kimchi?! Fermented foods are so good for you! Enjoy your bloggy break – look forward to “seeing” you in November 🙂

    • Reply Min September 27, 2023 at 5:33 pm

      Hi Sammie, I love a Taking Stock post too. I never know what is gonna pour from my fingertips onto the keyboard and into the blog post! I’m so happy the low dose BP medication has got my BP down to a normal level. That’s a relief! Nice to know you appreciate Kimchi too. I love it! I am very much looking forward to my bloggy break but know I’ll miss it all. Need it though! xo

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au September 27, 2023 at 4:51 pm

    Hi Min – you definitely sounded like you needed a little more headspace and taking a break from the blog is a great idea if it’s taking up time you could use more productively elsewhere. Glad you’ve gotten your blood pressure under control and don’t have to wear the 24/7 cuff – I know how horrible they are from my two hospital jaunts (especially at night!) Onward and upward my friend xx

    • Reply Min September 27, 2023 at 5:39 pm

      Hi Leanne, yes I do need a little more headspace. I’m just always busy. It’s a case of … before I sit down and do some art … I’ll just get this done and then this done – oh and I’ll just do this and then that and that and before I know it the day is over and it’s time to cook dinner. This goes on every day I’m home and then I’m over at Mum’s again and this continues on repeat. A lot of the time I am putting into getting blog posts done needs to now be focussed on getting some art done. I really want to finish my travel sketchbook so that I can move on to other art projects or at least have the time and headspace to think about what they might be! And that 24/7 BP monitor cuff was horrendous. So tight and so often! Glad that side of things seems to be all sorted now thank goodness! Take care and have a great week! xo

  • Reply Sue from Women Living Well After 50 September 28, 2023 at 5:30 pm

    Hi Min, Blogging breaks are good and although I used to resist it I don’t anymore. I’ve just taken a break from the Podcast but a Community Radio station has taken it up and is broadcasting it every Saturday which I’m pumped about. I had one of those 24 hour BP Monitors and yes they are a bit uncomfortable aren’t they? I hope you enjoy your break so you can work on your art and see you when you are back in the blogging world. xx

    • Reply Min October 2, 2023 at 2:55 pm

      Hi Sue, that is fantastic news about the community radio station broadcasting your Podcast on Saturday’s! Congratulations! I’d be pumped about that too! As for taking breaks – yes I need to do it more often. I can be my own worst enemy always putting such high demands on myself! xo

  • Reply Denyse Whelan September 29, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    What a comprehensive and lovely post. Good on you re health improvements and your proactivity.
    I know that we can feel overwhelm to post on the blog and that is SELF initiated and now you are going to have a break for your sake.

    Wise woman!
    It was great to see link up your blog post this week at Denyse’s Words and Pics for #WWandPics. Thank you for being part of the community. Warm wishes and appreciation from Denyse.

    • Reply Min October 2, 2023 at 2:57 pm

      Thanks Denyse – yes to self inflicted overwhelm! I’m Queen at that! And a big yes to taking a break. It’s not a long break but I’ll have a longer one over the Christmas/New Year period. One more post from me and then I’ll be off the air for a bit. xo

  • Reply Leslie Susan Clingan October 11, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Goodness, in my opinion, you just need to take care…of yourself, first and foremost, so that you can take care of your mom and others you love. I have been right there trying to balance everything and it is almost impossible to do well. Something has to give. I think stepping away from blogging – writing and reading – will give you more time. But you will be missed and I hope by the time the next Taking Stock post comes round, you will be able to catch us up on all that has been going on in your life. Especially your art, your health and all of your plans for the warm weather.

    • Reply Min October 12, 2023 at 9:54 am

      Hi Leslie, and thank you so much for your kindness and understanding! xo

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