Saturday, November 30, 2019

Things to be happy about

Things to be happy about 

1. I finished Nanowrimo, the National Novel writing month -having written 50,000 words in November. In order to achieve this, you have to write for about 2 hours a day, every day. I enjoy the challenge and I think I learn something more about writing every time I do it, but it also 'steals' my time. The last two weeks I haven't' done much on my quilt, for example. But that is OK. There are 'seasons' for things, and November is the season for writing. 

2. We have been helpful to a family member who needed some practical assistance. The lady needed someone like DH to come and put up shelves and pictures at her place, and while he was doing that, I helped her declutter and sort quite a lot of things. This lady is not as young or agile as she used to be, and it was a bit much for her to tackle. I am glad she felt OK about asking us, and truly it was a pleasure and a blessing to us to be of use to her. She is a real sweetie. 

3. DH has been finding real relief for his back and knee problems by walking in the water down at the beach. He feels like he is moving better than before too. I love it down at the beach so I walk on the edge of the water as far as I can up to the reef, which is being exposed in the low spring/summer tides.

4. When you look, beauty is everywhere.
Here is a banksia I found growing in the city, behind the State Library, in a place which is very urban and very hot. Just the perfect place for a banksia, apparently. 

5. Our garden gives us great joy. We are harvesting garlic and blueberries and lots of herbs. I planted more basil, and the cucumbers haven't quite grown but they are not dead! It is all a learning experience. 

6. Community

Our choir is working very hard on our Christmas concert, which will be sung in the beautiful Winthrop Hall, in the grounds of the University of Western Australia. This has meant we are often visitors to UWA, and it is really a beautiful place. Here it is last week, with the Jacarada in bloom.

So that is it for November 2019.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Leave me a comment - I love to be connected in this way around the world.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

November already!

We made it to our favourite Mullaloo beach this week, for the first walk on the beach of summer. I get such joy from walking right down near the water's edge on the wet sand in bare feet. There is something so relaxing about it! We always smile at the young families bringing their babies down for their first beach experience- the babies are often quite overwhelmed. When they come back as toddlers they run straight towards the water!

We are so lucky to live close to the beach! The weather is certainly heating up here -we had 40C the other day.

There is a eucalypt in flower on the way to the shops. Look at how pretty the pink gum caps are -and that flower with the deep green centre is a stunner. The flowers are low enough for me to see as I walk. I would like to use this colour palette some time for a quilt - I think it could be spectacular with the right pattern.

I have got the top of my quilt sewn up this week. Yesterday I took it outside so that I could pin it together. It fitted the table, and was such an enjoyable experience -so much easier than doing it on the floor. I am going to start the quilting this week coming. This will be a wall hanging. 

We are picking blueberries and watching the tomatoes ripen. 

My current Nanowrimo word count: 18000. On track at this stage to finish the goal of 50,000 words by November 29.  

DH and I have sorted our clothes and discarded a huge pile. The good ones we have sent to an op shop  (charity shop) nearby. We had this sudden realisation that if we had less clothes, we could get away with fewer chests of drawers when we get around to re-modelling our bedroom. Up till now we have been stuck with wanting to have lovely wooden chests of drawers -part of our commitment to buy second hand and good quality -but they all seemed small.  Well, maybe we just had too much stuff! I am now more confident we can get what we need this way.  

DH finished blow-torching the weeds in the paving -was it last Christmas or the one before I bought him a special gardening tool which uses a flame to burn weeds? Anyway, it is, while quite slow and a bit stinky (just the smell of burning leaves) it does work very well and gradually the weeds are becoming less and less out there. 

That is my week. How is yours going? 

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Peace at last

Stormy clouds above the city this week

The last of the tradies left at 3pm on Friday, and we are gradually recovering.  Both bathrooms are back to 'hotel sparkle", and look great. Now we have water resistant grout hopefully it will be easier to keep them looking like this! 

DH worked on removing the water scale and soap scum from our ensuite bathroom shower screen, and did a great job. He took the doors off and removed all the fittings before treating everything and them re-installing them. (I have mentioned earlier that we had found that soap used in the shower eventually coated everything -the tiles and the screens -with a scum which needed to be scraped off with a scraper made for ceramic cook tops. Maybe this is just a Perth thing -we have hard water here.) DH also painted the ceiling after the plasterer had left. It is looking so nice in there!

We found that after the plasterer had put the new water resistant ceiling into the main bathroom, and sealed it with special water resistant paint(one of the most stinky things possible -he wore a respirator and we all went outside!), that the exhaust fan was not working. This required us to get an electrician in to install a new one. Now, as you know, getting an electrician onsite means that you have to pay a 'standard call out fee' of about $150, before the clock starts ticking on the cost of their labour. We tend, as a result, to save up jobs which require an electrician until we have one on site. The extra jobs we got this one to do involved replacing the ceiling fan in DD's bedroom -it had started to make a weird sort of thumping noise which freaked out the cat. The best thing for me, however, is that I now have a downlight over my sewing machine, and it is such a great thing! The downlight had been surplus to the kitchen renovation, and I had saved it up for my sewing room, having found that task lighting in the kitchen was a life changing thing! My whole sewing experience will be improved in this clear bright but soft LED light.

Dora hates having strangers in the house, and any kind of noise. One day I found her squeezed into quite a tiny space under a bookshelf, as the only safe space she could find. In the evenings however, she would emerge and enjoy our quiet reading, whilst she cuddled up to DH's legs whilst resting on her favourite quilt .

I spent a day in the State Library doing more research on the CARAD history project. While I waited for the library to open I took some photos of the old buildings around the Arts Precinct. This is one of my favourite buildings -the golden stone work and the arches are great. It is used as the administration centre for the museum, I think. I met an old school friend for lunch and a walk around the Botanica exhibition at the Art Gallery.

We spent Saturday in a giant rehearsal for the special 3 choir performance in which we are taking part. The rehearsal was at UWA, the university I was very lucky to have studied in, and I loved being back there. The gardens are just lovely at this time of the year.

As if we were not busy enough, we are all three of us, doing Nanowrimo, where the aim is to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November!

I have still been working on my quilt though, and am now sewing the borders together. It seems to be turning into a 'Christmas Quilt" with its green and red and gold colour scheme, which wasn't in my head when I started it! This is a happy surprise, and given that it is now November, I can see I have a deadline for this quilt -to hang by Advent 1 which is December 1 this year. With choir, Nanowrimo and all, it will be a busy month!

A big thank you to all who visit my blog, and especially my online friends who leave comments. Each one is read and treasured! I love visiting your blogs too.