IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE

Because I always enjoy a good 'Taking Stock' blog post, I hope you'll humour me and sit a while as I share my news. There's nothing like a virtual cuppa and a chat, and I have lots to share from the last few weeks. #ifwewerehavingcoffee

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE

If we were having coffee these are a few things I'd be sharing from January. We're in the peak of Summer here in Australia with all the horror of bushfires and cyclones, but here in Western Australia things have been fairly calm and (fortunately) fire-free. January is now behind me and because I always enjoy a good 'Taking Stock' blog post, I hope you'll humour me and sit a while as I share my news. There's nothing like a virtual cuppa and a chat, and I have lots to share from the last few weeks.

LOCAL BUSHFIRES

Although the bushfires in Western Australia this year have been far less severe than our Eastern States disasters, there's always the worry of one springing up nearby (arsonists are becoming a real problem in Australia). Here's a photo I took from our balcony of one that was deliberately lit in bushland near our house a week or so ago, it took 40 firefighters and some waterbombers to get it under control and another day to restore power to all our houses. Such a relief that it didn't get out of control.

Australian bushfires are always a concern - taken from our balcony.

BLOGGING

January was the beginning of my new series of Thursday posts that centre around creating a MIDLIFE SYMPHONY and I hope they're resonating with others. Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 was my first guest and I'm keen to have lots of guests sharing how they're making the second half of their lives count. If you'd like to write a guest post (and you haven't contacted me yet), please email me and we'll make it happen. Everyone (whether you blog or not) is welcome and I'm looking forward to bringing back guest posts on the blog again this year. (My email is leanne.lecras@gmail.com)

I'm also enjoying writing about how my life is adapting to early retirement. I'm still figuring it all out, but I have a feeling that 2020 is going to be the year that things start coming together for my next season of life - I already love the fact that I wake up happy and content every day.... so different to how things were a year ago! Quitting that awful job was the best thing I could have done for myself. I was also asked to be part of an article on Winter Hobbies for Retirees recently and shared my love of Tai Chi - I'm not an expert yet, but I'm definitely getting much better at the 140 moves.

Tai Chi in retirement - great for your balance, fitness, brain health, and so much more.

FAMILY-ING

It was our darling granddaughter Sophia's first day at kindergarten at the end of January - I can't believe this little baby is now almost four and she's a school girl! Seeing her standing so proudly in her new uniform just melts my heart - and her mum looks pretty pleased too. 


And seeing everyone loves a cute cat pic, here's one of Luna on our balcony enjoying the sunny weather.

Luna - Scottish Fold enjoying the view

JIGSAWING

I'm dialling back a bit on my jigsawing - too much sitting still with my neck bent has been giving me headaches, so I just did one this month. My DIL (also an avid jigsaw-er) lent me this dog show puzzle which was fun to do and not too all-consuming of my time.

Dog show jigsaw - 1000 pieces

READING

This month I've been a bit all over the place with my reading. I started with the first two books of a YA series "The Darkest Star" and "The Burning Shadow" by Jennifer L. Armentrout. The only problem is that the final book in the series doesn't come out until November - hopefully I'll remember the plot still by the time I read Book 3! If not, I don't think I'll be crying into my coffee.

I also churned through an old favourite Nora Roberts trilogy the "Born In" series - a nice easy read in between coffee catch-ups and blogging.



WATCHING

I took my Mum for a belated birthday treat to see Little Women - we both thoroughly enjoyed it despite finding the flashing back and forward through time a little confusing, and I think there was a lot of liberty taken with the social mores of the time (I'm sure young people wouldn't have been as effusive in their public greetings and interactions) but it was still a great mother/daughter date.

I followed that up with going to see the last Star Wars movie with my lovely husband. I saw the first one in 1978 at the drive-in with a boy from high school and the second one with a group of friends when I was working away from home for the first time. All the others have been with my husband - I told him in the theatre "you weren't my first Star Wars, but you'll always be my last" and that gave us both a smile! As far as the movie went, it wrapped things up nicely but I just wish I could have liked the choice of actor for Kylo Ren - I found him a bit inspid and whiney and I really didn't care what happened to him - so that took away some of the emotional engagement, but other than that, Star Wars will always have a special place in my heart.

Oh and I forgot to mention that I had this moment during the film when I realized that Kylo Ren reminded me of Severus Snape from Harry Potter. I obviously wasn't alone judging by this meme:

Severus Snape - Kylo Ren I am your father!

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Well that's it from me during January. So, what have you been up to? How is 2020 looking? Are you interested in being part of my Midlife Symphony series? If you are, don't forget to send me an email. Let me know how things are going with you in the comments because I love to chat.


Because I always enjoy a good 'Taking Stock' blog post, I hope you'll humour me and sit a while as I share my news. There's nothing like a virtual cuppa and a chat, and I have lots to share from the last few weeks. #ifwewerehavingcoffee

To keep up to date with my posts, feel free to add your email into the spot especially for it on my sidebar and I'd love you to share this post by clicking on a share button before you go xx
This post was shared at some of these great link parties

36 comments

  1. Wow, is it that time already? I adore the look on your grand-daughter's face and man, that jigsaw looks tough. Now, confession time...I've never seen a Star Wars movie. Not one. Not even the first one. (hangs head and shuffles away...)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jo!!!! I think you're the only person in the known world who hasn't seen a Star Wars movie!! How have you managed to escape? My confession is that I've never watched a full Lord of the Rings movie - the battle scenes bore me to tears....

      Delete
    2. I will be the second person you "know" that hasn't seen a Star Wars movie, Science Fiction movies don't interest me. I have sort of sat through one while doing other stuff as my husband loves those types of movies.

      Delete
    3. Suzanne! I'm surrounded by Sci Fi Philestines! But I do get it - I'm not a fan of scary movies, or war movies and I know both have huge fan bases, so I guess I'll forgive you and Jo :)

      Delete
  2. I am shocked about the arsonists, Leanne. I cannot imagine the lives that are put in danger. I have heard a great deal about Tai Chi and how people love it for many reasons. I likely would love it, too. Your granddaughter is a real cutie. I can see the family resemblance with you. You likely have been told this before, Leanne. Kindergarten is a big milestone.

    I have yet to read a Nora Robert’s book. In my radar lately.

    Re: my January? Catching up and staying on top of projects around here, since my daughter is expecting her baby end of February. If all goes according to plan, I will be her labour coach. We are also expecting a houseful of out of town company. A good reason for a celebration.🙂

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Erica you must read a Nora Roberts book! Start with one of her stand alone novels - they've got a bit more texture to them than her trilogies (they're a bit more romantic and magic-y). And yes, arsonists are alive and well - a lot of them are volunteer firefighers who want a fire to fight - crazy stuff!
      It's nice that you can see a family resemblence between Sophia and me, her little sister has blue eyes (which I didn't manage to pass on to either of my children) so I feel a little bit of my DNA still lingers in the family!
      Good luck with the birth coaching - you're very blessed that your daughter wants to include you in such a monumentous life moment.

      Delete
  3. I have enjoyed our coffee/tea catch up with you Leanne and I've just gone and added some Nora Roberts to my list of books to read, thanks for the recommendation. I don't think I've read many of hers over the years either, like Erica! I'm also not a huge fan of Star Wars and really can't remember the story from the first one or two - can we still be friends??

    My husband is busy doing a jigsaw as we speak something he enjoys while I sit nearby reading or blogging and yours always look great. I'm good at buying him new ones to do :)

    I won't mention the fires :(

    Huge congrats to your little grandgirl starting kindergarten - she looks so happy, they both do in actual fact!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Deb - yes, I'll forgive you for your lack of Star Wars love. I think I've only watched the last few to see it through to the end. They were so ahead of their times back in the 70's, but now the CGI etc has caught up with them and they're not that special. Definitely add a Nora Roberts novel or two to your reading - as I just said to Erica, pick her stand alone ones because they're a more involved read - usually a murder somewhere in them and she writes characters really well.
      And yes, Sophia is loving kindy - she's quite social and smart, so I think school will be a favourite for her - she's going to a Christian school too, so less chance of bullying or overly large class sizes (but no guarantees with either these days!)

      Delete
  4. Hi, Leanne - I loved this catchup! The excitement on Sophia's face is absolutely priceless...and how adorable is Luna?! I'm delighted to hear that your transition into retirement has been going smoothly and that you wake up everyday happy and refreshed. I look forward to reading more about your 2020 adventures, and your Midlife Symphony posts! #MLSTL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Donna - yes the pride and excitement just oozes out of her doesn't it? I was so glad that she wasn't scared, and was absolutely ready to leap into the next stage. I think she'll do well and her little sister is going to love her "only child" days too!
      And yes, retirement is turning out to be my happy place - I can't believe what a well kept secret it is! No Mexican holidays on the horizon, but that's a small sacrifice for the daily peace and serentity.

      Delete
  5. The fires :( I just don't understand why someone wants to light a fire, its bad enough that at least 50% are started from lightning strikes. I just finished watching the Cobargo fires this morning. Out at darts last night. When I was living with my sister in Forestfield WA there was a fire started by an arsonist on the hills. Lucky that they managed to put it out before it got to us. My sister has a pool and has given permission for the planes etc to drain her pool, they let her know via her phone. Very scary. I admire your patience on doing jigsaw puzzles, I have never been able to do them...give me one that is for a child and I'm ok. I love Tai Chi and first started doing it when my girls were little. The doctor told me I had bad anxiety and needed to do either yoga or tai chi.. over the years I get to go back to it, but as my brain has a fog its like all new to me each time. Trying to find somewhere down where I live now to do it. #MLSTL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bree - I don't understand arsonists either (or muggers, or other people who don't seem to be aware of the hurt and harm they inflict on others). I think the penalties need to be increased and put them behind bars for a while - especially when lives and property are lost. The water bombers do an amazing job and I bet the ground crews are always relieved when they appear.
      I love my Tai Chi - it does put me in a zen state of mind and I still have a long way to go before I can do it without having to think about which move comes next, but that's what keeps me going along each week - and watching everyone move in unison.

      Delete
  6. What a fun Jan. Lucky you. Now following you via email and look forward to posts as soon as they are published. Thanks for being such a good host at #MLSTL. Hugs, Nancy Andres @ Colors 4 Health

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nancy - thanks so much for the follow. I'm hoping that people will enjoy the Midlife Symphony guest posts as well for some variety in their email feeds. xx

      Delete
  7. Hi Leanne - I enjoyed reading your news. Sophia looks so happy and proud. Luna is such a cutie with beautiful eyes. Congrats on your article on Winter Hobbies for Retirees. I'm glad to hear you wake up happy and content every day. I look forward to reading more about your 2020 Symphony. #MLSTL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Natalie - thanks for all of that - and yes Sophia just shines with pride doesn't she? It's always such a relief when your child (grandchild) faces a new hurdle with confidence and isn't clinging and crying. Luna's pretty face hides a naughty nature at times - but she gets away with a lot when she gazes soulfully up at me!

      Delete
  8. As always, a wonderful wrap-up. Glad the fires aren't too close to you. My husband is a 31 year retired firefighter so we keep an eye on all the fire news. I just can't understand purposely setting fires!

    I agree about Kylo-Ren completely! And is Luna a Scottish Fold? Such a beauty!

    Donna
    https://dbmcnicol.com/book-reviews-and-you/

    #MLSTL visitor/shared on SM

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Donna - I think firefighters deserve medals for all that they do (and the incredible heat and risk when dealing with those big fires). Some of the arsonists have been volunteer firefighters who light them to give themselves something to put out - those people deserve to be behind bars!
      I'm glad someone else thinks Kylo Ren was a bit of a doofus - but looking at actors around that age, most of them are a bit wet behind the ears!
      And yes, Luna is a Scottish Fold - beautiful nature and very relaxed (except for her naughty moments!)

      Delete
  9. Leanne, I love it that you wake up happy and content every day. And I love the beautiful eyes of Luna! Your granddaughter's smile is precious- I bet she loves school! Have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Michele - part of me wishes I'd had a job that I could have woken up and looked forward to going to. The last few years put paid to that idea! I think the contrast of living without the trepidation of what I'd face when I would be going in to work makes the days sweeter (and the thought of going to work again very unlikely!)
      And yes, Sophia is loving kindy - she's only been a couple of times and comes home completely exhausted (she's not even 4 years old yet) but can't wait to go back again each week.

      Delete
  10. You won me over with the cute cat photo :-) Not that I would be classed as a cat lady! Have fun with the new series Leanne, look forward to reading more about your guests. By the way the link to read Sue's is not coming up [broken?] Big event those early school days and I still remember all the photos in our school uniforms with our satchels over our shoulders.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Suzanne - thanks for the heads up about the broken link - I've fixed it now.
      I'm also glad you loved Luna - I don't think you have to be a cat person to enjoy a cute cat pic (or a dog person to enjoy a sweet faced puppy) and yes, I have a pic of me heading off to Grade 1 with my little case and books - the excitement was there then too.

      Delete
  11. Glad to have the catch-up with you, Leanne. I just don't understand why arsonists want to light more fires while there are bigger ones all over the country. I know it's a sickness but I can't wrap my head around that.

    You're granddaughter is so cute. I bet she loved her first day of school

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't understand arsonists either Jennifer - especially when they know how devastating fires can be - they must have no empathy or understanding in regard to other people's lives and homes - or even to the poor animals who suffer so terribly.
      And yes, Sophia came home exhausted by so thrilled from her first day and was counting down the days til her next school day (they only go part time to kindy)

      Delete
  12. Hello Leanne! What an exciting time for your granddaughter--starting kindergarten! We've got two starting to drive this year and one who flew an airplane for the first time! They grow up so fast. I also love the picture of your adorable cat. Those eyes! I'm happy to hear that you have been spared the worst of the fires. It's so scary. Here's to a more peaceful February! #MLSTL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Christie - I can't believe you're old enough to have grandchildren learning to drive (or fly!) you must have started your family when you were 12!! They do indeed grow up so fast - it doesn't seem that long ago that I was holding a little bundle in my arms and being so amazed that I was a Nan - time stands still for no-one!

      Delete
  13. Thanks for the coffee catchup BBB and it certainly is an exciting time starting kindergarten! Ethan went off to Grade 1 and Elliot to daycare and fortunately both love spending their days with friends and learning. The bushfires have been devastating and one of the acquaintances from my High School days lost both her home and her business. She was actually on the ABC News. I enjoyed our coffee catch up and look forward to February. It's a date! Thanks for being my partner-in-blogging and co-hosting #MLSTL. I love this community. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sue - isn't it lovely seeing our grandbabies growing up and confidently taking on the world? I was so pleased that Sophia was excited and couldn't wait to go (rather than being clinging and scared) It would be so hard as a parent to have a child who wasn't ready to tackle school - heart wrenching.
      Terrible news about your school friend - but so many have lost so much with these fires - whole communities wiped out and that will take a long time to restore to any sense of normality.
      Thanks for being my partner in blogging too - I love our friendship and this group of women - we're very blessed aren't we?

      Delete
  14. It makes me so sad to hear that the fires are set intentionally. Who would even think that is amusing in any way!?

    I love your Star Wars memories. I can't remember where I was for all of them but I know I've watched the first 3 too many times, lol.

    ~Allison

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't understand arsonists either Allison (or people who mug old women) there must be a certain type of person with no compassion and no sense of the impact their actions have on the lives of others.
      I've watched the first three Star Wars movies too many times too!

      Delete
  15. Awww having a school/pre school starter (in uniform!) is always a reason with smile with a tear in your eye. i know WA does school starting SOOO much differently to the one state I know which is NSW...I hope she is loving it.

    The smoke would have had me worried too. I know this fire season has given me much to be grateful for living in the almost 'burbs' but even then we cannot feel fully protected as someone started a fire a few kms up the road. There is a sickness in arsonists for sure. I know there is lot happening to find them and punish them

    I thought about going to the movies just to see Little Women but then it was busy holidays and I think I will leave the memories of the older versions in my head. Star Wars...movies for both our son and daughter to enjoy over the years. I never got the notion of it. Our son, watched his first at home on a VHS aged about 3. yes, we all went through the light saber time too.

    Lovely catch up
    Denyse #MLSTL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Denyse - we've had people starting fires in suburbia here too - incomprehensible to me and I hope they get locked up.
      School years have changed quite a bit in WA over the last decade. They now start school in two waves - those with Jan-June birthdays start a year earlier than those with Jul-Dec birthdays. Sophia is an April baby so she's not 4 yet - her sister is an Aug baby so will start when she's well and truly 4. I'm not sure why they think it's better, but it doesn't impact on me, so I just watch from afar and am so grateful that Sophia is bright and social enough to be ready to jump in and get started.

      Delete
  16. Hi Leanne,

    2018 ended and 2019 began in a very happy note in amazingly beautiful Australia; Sydney to be precise. Great memories and I will cherish those moments forever.

    The last three to four months have been extremely agonising for people of east and south east Australia. Lots of damage and hardship for people. I hope and pray that we don't see such disasters.

    For me, January went off reasonably well. Looking forward to new experiences and opportunities in the rest of the 11 months of the year.

    I took a break from blogging in January. I am back. Since I am still working, finding time is one challenge. I hope to be more organised and regular in the blogosphere.

    Midlife Symphony is an great concept. I went to your Jan 9 post. I would love to join you. To begin with I shall start by reading your Thursday posts. It would be nice to share notes and take inspiration from one another.

    (via #MLSTL)

    Thanks and take care.
    Pradeep

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Pradeep - I would love to have you guest post on my Midlife Symphony series. I'll send you my email and we'll make it happen. I'm glad you're back after your blogging break - sometimes we need to take a step back to get our mojo going again and to rev ourselves up for more writing and more interaction.
    Every year I think I'll quit blogging, and then I'm off and running again with lots of thoughts to share - writing is such a joy for me!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Leanne, can it be coffee time again already? The weeks are passing by so quickly. Luna is really gorgeous and so photogenic. As is Sophia of course. Don’t they grow up quickly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jennifer - I can't believe January is long gone and we're well into February! The days just slide by don't they? Luna and Sophia are both delightful and I love being able to share pictures of them. This post is my little monthly indulgence!

      Delete

Thanks so much for your comment - it's where the connection begins.
If you don't have a Google account please choose "Name/URL" from the drop down arrow and type in your first name (you don't need a URL) and hit "Continue" to leave your comment.