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

INTRO

If we were having coffee these are a few things I'd be sharing with you from May. We've just finished the third month of staying at home in isolation and being locked down as far as travel goes. But just as I was starting to go a little bit stir crazy and missing the family more and more, some of the travel restrictions were lifted and we got to spend some lovely family time with our son, DIL and grandgirls. Other than that visit, the main person I drink coffee with these days is my husband, so I thought I'd feature that theme in my intro picture. There's nothing like a virtual cuppa and a chat though, and I have lots to share from the last few weeks, so here we go....


BLOGGING

My blogging has continued on much as before - with a couple of lovely guest bloggers - Pradeep shared about how he's Making a Few Course Corrections now he's in Midlife and Allison shared about Learning Self-Compassion as she reinvented her life post-divorce. I've included the links if you missed either post and at the end of each are their blog links if you want to read more about what they write.

I've also been slowing down a bit inspiration-wise because my brain seems to be a bit sluggish these days with all the at-home time. I wrote about COVID stealing my blogging mojo last week and I'm hoping that it will burst forth anew before much longer (or things will be pretty quiet around here this month!)

FAMILY-ING

Well Mothers Day came and went in the blink of an eye. We don't often see our kids on the day because the distance makes a quick catch up difficult. That being said, this year was the first that we thought we could squeeze in a short meet-up with the grandgirls being old enough for a day trip to a halfway point. Travel lockdown knocked that idea on the head, but I did get a lovely plant that my husband bought on behalf of both my kids and I had phone calls from both and a video chat with the grandgirls - so it wasn't a complete write off.

My lovely husband also bought me a diffuser lamp that changes colour (a bit like fireworks) that I'd seen online and he decided to buy me as a surprise. I love the shape, colours, and lovely smell (lemongrass and vanilla currently) so he did well.

Mothers Day gifts from the family

Towards the end of May travel restrictions were lifted, and it was full speed ahead for getting together again. We planned a visit up to the city for a day trip, but they decided to come down to us instead to spend a few days having a break and a change of scenery. The weather was beautiful and we had a lovely time strolling to the park, playing little girl games, story times, bath times, and eating together - small things but all joyful in their own way. We'll be heading up to see them and their parents, and our daughter and SIL in a couple of weeks - making the most of travelling in case everything has to close down again (heaven forbid!)

Family time after COVID-19

WRITING

I've been on a bit of a roll over the last 6 months or so writing and creating little books for Sophia on Canva. Apparently she really enjoys them (probably because she's the star of the story!) I started with one about our cat looking forward to her visit, then one about getting a baby sister, and the latest was about what she and Georgia had gotten up to while they'd been isolating at home. Fortunately their mum had sent me lots of pictures of all the things they'd been doing, so it was fun to put together and I'm hoping it'll be a positive reminder of the time she spent away from kindy.

writing stories for the grandchildren

READING

I've been revisiting the Graceling series by Kristin Cashore. They are a big favourite of mine (and my daughter's) and I felt like re-reading them and I zoomed through them in no time. I'm not sure what their appeal is, but I enjoyed them the first time and re-enjoyed them this time. They then inspired me to read Mary E. Pearson's Remnant Chronicles series, which has also been enjoyable. Finding a free download site has made getting hold of books so much easier than I expected while our local library has been closed due to the coronavirus.

Graceling series - Kristin Cashore
Remnant Chronicles series - Mary E. Pearson

GRAFFITI-ING

I'm such a little-goody-two-shoes when it comes to being responsible (probably because I'm an oldest child) but there's something about wet cement and wanting to leave your mark isn't there? Well, we had a section of cycle path replaced in our park last week and I was itching to sneak over and write my name in the wet concrete while nobody was there. I resisted temptation, but on my return the workmen were back and I asked if they were guarding it from graffiti writers - the lovely guy said he'd look the other way if I wanted to initial it - and I couldn't say "no" to an offer like that! So here's the result below - I felt like I was leaving my handprint on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! (PS I'm wearing my new purple shoes that I'll be writing about in a couple of weeks' time - stay tuned!)

leaving my mark on the local footpath

APOCALYPSING

I also had a little laugh at the meme below because I feel like I've pretty much lost any chance of becoming Xena - Warrior Princess during this pandemic, and I'm fast morphing into the woman in the dressing gown... I think I need to get out more!

Apolcalypse outfits

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Well that's it from me during May. So, what have you been up to? How is isolation and lockdown going for you? I'd love to hear from you in the comments and we can cheer each other on through these difficult and dreary times.


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

55 comments

  1. Hi, Leanne - Thank you for this catch up. Your apocalypse meme totally made me smile. Lots of truth in there for so many of us. We all need to get out more. Hopefully that will be happening for everyone soon...and safely! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Donna - I was SO excited when they eased up the travel restrictions enough to see our kids - and venues are now opening for more people. We've still got our interstate and international borders closed for now - and that's okay for me (although I'm sure there are others who are wanting to travel further afield). I'm glad you're looking forward to thing opening up more where you are too xx

      Delete
    2. Hi, Leanne - I'm dropping back in from #MLSTL. Our COVID restrictions are beginning to ease up...slowly. It definitely does make me grateful for things that I once (shamefully) took for granted. So glad that you are now able to see your children and grandchildren. That's awesome!

      Delete
  2. Hi Leanne where has May gone! I love the diffuser lamp and I can imagine how lovely the lemongrass and vanilla smell. Isn't wonderful catching up with the grandchildren? I think many of us would have that as the highlight of the month as restrictions started to ease. The book is a wonderful idea and something Sophia can treasure. Well we are into June now and I think this year will really only count as 6 months so perhaps I will be turning 62.5 instead of 63 in August LOL:) xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sue - I love the idea about subtracting 6 months of our birthdays! And yes, being able to see our grandkids has been the best reward for sticking out all the restrictions. Sometimes I feel like it's been overkill, but at the same time I know what could have happened if they'd let it run rampant. It's been an interesting few months and I'm so glad we're emerging relatively unscathed from it all - and look what it did for your creative juices!!

      Delete
    2. Hi Leanne, Ethan told me he is going to have a 6.5 birthday party because he missed out on his 6th LOL:) Thanks for sharing the hosting duties with me again at #MLSTL and we are off for another week of great reading. Sharing on SM. xx

      Delete
  3. Hi Leanne - Well, May just went ... Didn't even realise. It's already half way into the year. What a weird time it has been so far!
    The month was generally split between work from home, doing household chores, reading, playing some word, number games etc.
    From today, the lockdown has been relaxed a lot, with strict restrictions only in seriously affected areas. Of course the threat is of the number rising. So, trying to take maximum care.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Pradeep - I saw that India was lifting restrictions but also facing an increase in their covid cases. I hope you keep being careful. Things in Australia have been pretty good and the restrictions are lifting more slowly here to make sure we don't get the dreaded second wave. Fingers crossed that life will continue to return to normal and the rest of the year won't feel so strange!

      Delete
  4. That last meme is just so good Leanne!! I love your books you make for Sophia, that's a very special thing to be able to do and to stay connected. I am so happy to see the photos of you catching up with the grandgirls, that must have felt so special, and hopefully you can do it more often now. May was a long month and I enjoyed reading about some of your activities - thanks for the cuppa. I'll see you at my world tomorrow for our monthly catchup :) All the best for June, new ideas and things to write about!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Deb - I think we're all doing the grandmother happy dance as we get to see our grandkids again. It's so special to catch up with family after being restricted for these last couple of months - and I'm SO hoping things continue to open up and life can speed up a little (not too much....just a little bit). I'll be popping over for a coffee in your sunroom to see what you've been up to (already had one with Sue for her May news - and all her exciting new plans).

      Delete
    2. You are welcome at any time! Back for #mlstl and sharing :)

      Delete
  5. Yay for graffiti-ing! I can imagine how your heart was racing even with permission (kind of lol) I am so happy you got to visit with the grand babies! One of mine visited over Memorial Day and I am making a trip next week to visit the rest 🤞 this can be normal again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Susan - yes my graffiti was a little rushed in case someone stopped me (and not as neat as my slightly OCD personality would have liked!) but it was fun to be a bit naughty for a change. And seeing the grandgirls (and their folks) was an absolute joy - we're off for a visit with them in a week or so - and with our daughter and SIL - so my mother heart will be full indeed. Enjoy yours too xx

      Delete
  6. The apocalypse meme is so spot on! And so too is losing blogging mojo. I thought this time would make me super productive but not so. Just super confused, and time to go down waaaaay too many rabbit holes. Love love love that you've been creating books for Sophia, she must love them and what wonderful memories you're creating too. Yes, me too, feeling such a sense of relief that we can see our children again. Coffee with my daughter today and looking forward to that. Hope the week goes well for you x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jo - how lovely that you can see your daughter - I wasn't sure if she was off somewhere else travelling around Australia still. It makes a mother's heart happy when we can touch base with our "babies" doesn't it? I've loved doing those little books for Sophia - they're very basic, but she loves them because she's on most of the pages - 4 year olds love being the star!

      Delete
  7. Hi Leanne, so nice to read about your activities during May, and I'm glad that you've been able to spend time with your family after such a long time being separated from them. I feel really lucky to be where I am right now. Life is pretty good now that we've recovered from the rushed exodus from Moscow in March and having to find new accommodation in locked down Bucharest in April. May brought us freedom from lock down and the opportunity to explore Bucharest! Still not able to leave Romania, but it seems to be the right place for us right now. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cheryl - I love that you're feeling settled and happy - after so much upheaval and so much stress, it must be a godsend to feel safe and relaxed for a while. I'm sure you'll travel onwards once this is all over, but it's great that you've found your port in the storm. And yes, seeing the family has been our greatest happiness since all this started!

      Delete
  8. I'm glad you managed to catch up with your children and grandchildren. Those books on Canva are such a good idea and must make the grandbabies feel special.
    We're attempting to stay safe even as sanctions are being lifted. If anything, I'm a little more wary now than during the lockdown!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Corinne - I saw that India lifted its restrictions very quickly and far more extensively than they have here. We've been given more freedom within our separate States, but no interstate or international travel still. I'm happy for things to progress slowly because the resurgence of the virus could send us all back into full lockdown and that's the last thing we (or our economy) need.

      Delete
  9. I don't know but Zena, Warrior Princess probably doesn't look like she used to either! With Sue's changes, does that also mean the end to #MLSTL? Change is good. I live in Pennsylvania and we were slowing into isolation but it did not officially begin until the first of April. Early in May my part of the state moved from Red to Yellow (A lifting of some restrictions) and just now went to Green (With still some restrictions, including wearing masks and social distancing). But that is not as much as 3 months of isolation; wow!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Michele - Sue and I have talked about MLSTL - we both love the community we have here and will continue on until at least the end of the year - we tend to have a re-think every time a new year rolls around. It takes a bit of time and effort to comment and share every post, but I love the friendships and the engagement - that's what blogging is all about for me.
      We've recently moved to Green for our restrictions too - but only in our home States, no interstate or international travel - the borders are still closed to keep the virus from coming in. I'm happy with that - but feel sad for those with far flung families.

      Delete
  10. I'm glad you got to see your family! I don't think you've entirely lost your mojo as last week's post on quitting was inspired (and inspiring). #MLSTL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lydia - thanks for your kind words - I think my mojo is simmering away and I'm hoping that as I get out and about more, the brain fog will clear and I'll be back to normal again. Seeing the family was a big boost and so was having a coffee in a cafe last week!

      Delete
  11. And I LOVE the books you make your darling little one!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks - they wouldn't win any prizes for professionalism, but she loves them and being the star in your own book - with lots of photos of yourself makes any 4 year old happy :)

      Delete
  12. Hi Leanne, Wonderful account of your May activities, and the thoughts and feeling you have about them. Glad you got to see your family. I miss mine so much, but they all live on the other coast of the Us. We've been keeping in touch electronically, but it's not the same. Hopeful yet hesitant about traveling long distance. I'll have to hang in and see what develops. Stay well, and thanks for hosting #MLSTL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nancy - I was so grateful when they opened up the intra-state zones so we could see our family again. Our interstate and international borders are still locked down and I feel for those with family that is further away. Still, long distance travel is a bit of a risk and I wouldn't be hopping on a plane (or boat) for quite a while yet.

      Delete
  13. Hi Leanne, I'm glad you were able to meet your children and grandchildren. The books for Sophia are such a good idea and loving gifts to her. We're still under emergency orders that prohibit gathering of five or more people unless living together. #MLSTL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow Natalie - lockdown for you guys is still quite full on! I was so relieved when they lifted some of the restrictions and made it to gatherings of 20 (with distancing). Tomorrow it changes again to gatherings of 100 (with distancing) which is pretty amazing - no interstate or international travel though while the virus is still spreading elsewhere.

      Delete
  14. Firstly, I love those purple shoes...secondly, so glad you got to see the grandkids. I have to say, while I'm chatting to Mum & Dad a couple of times a week, I would have been to Sydney a couple of times already this year and am missing seeing family & interacting with colleagues - and I never thought I'd say that I miss being able to go to Sydney. Love the idea of the books on Canva - very clever & creative.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jo - I love the purple shoes too - they're turning out to be really comfy and fun. The books for Sophia are very basic compared to the serious stuff of publishing, but the first one was so loved that I got asked to do more - and each has been very well received - nothing like being the star of your own book!
      Hopefully you'll get to Sydney in the not too distant future - the lifting of the zones here made a huge difference, but WA is very reluctant to open up to the rest of Australia and the world because our infection rate is so well contained atm. We're so far away from everything that I don't really mind the closure at all (selfish for me now that I have access to all my family!)

      Delete
  15. Hi Leanne your coffee catch ups seem to come around so quickly. The naughty side of me couldn’t have resisted that wet concrete either. I love the little books you made on Canva. What a great idea. #MLSTL Sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jennifer - I felt quite wicked doing my little bit of graffiti - which is funny for a middle-aged woman - but we have to get our thrills where we can!

      Delete
  16. I'm so glad you've finally got to see your grandkids and son and DIL etc. Good idea to do another trip to visit them in case it locks down again (but gee I hope it doesn't!). How exciting to have a sneaky initial in the footpath. I remember initialling the slab our garden shed went on at our previous house. The new owners would probably not even be aware but it has the initials of hubby and I in it and the date I think. As for the apocalypse meme - yep I'm more like the lady on the right! Thanks so much for the coffee! :-) xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Min - and welcome to the world of pink dressing gown apocalypse dressing! Yes, seeing the grandgirls and their folks was definitely special and the visit to Perth next week to see both lots of kids and the grandgirls will be wonderful. I do worry about a 2nd wave and another lockdown - I don't really think it'll happen, but I'm not wasting opportunities when they arise!

      Delete
  17. I love the idea of writing books for the grandkids. How fabulous. And I'm really happy you've been able to see your granddaughters. My personal blogging has drifted to the wayside a little and I wish I'd kept it up more as I think it helps my organise my thoughts and that's probably something I've missed these last couple of months!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Deb - I find my thoughts aren't as "active" as they were before lockdown and I've definitely dithered a bit with the blogging. Fortunately I've had a few guests who've helped keep the variety up and now that things are easing up a little bit, I'm hoping to get out and about a bit more to get the creative thoughts flowing again.

      Delete
  18. What a lovely idea, to write books for your grandchildren. Hopefully I'll be blessed with grandchildren one day because I'd love to do craft with them and write for them. It's nice that restrictions are lifting and you get to spend time with them again. It's definitely made us realise what the important things in life are

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grandbabies are just the best! Unfortunately for us, our daughter and SIL have decided to not have children, so our son and DIL get bonus points for providing us with our two grandgirls - I've told my daughter she'll have to look after us in our vast old age to make up for the deficiency in grandkids! And yes, I think family and friends have become even more special when we lost contact with them for a while.

      Delete
  19. Hi Leanne, I have also been able to see my grandchildren. Still social distancing, even with them. Yet, grateful everyone is healthy.

    Ooooh, a diffuser lamp. Never heard about this and I know I would like this. Do you know the actual name of it? Did he order online?

    I also have in the back of my mind, “...in case everything has to close down again...” Your photos put a huge smile on my face. Adorable family! I just made a note to investigate “Canva.”

    Another thing we have in common, Leanne, “oldest child.” OMgosh, totally lol on my apocalypse outfit. I loved this post, Leanne! It was great catching up! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also want to add #MLSTL and sharing SM. xx

      Delete
    2. Hi Erica - I'm so glad you enjoyed catching up with your grandies too - we got to do the full contact visit because they'd been at home and so had we - so no exposure to any viruses!

      And yes you need to get into Canva (canva.com) - it is absolutely the BEST for creating images and pins for blog posts, e-books, IG, FB etc - lots of templates and it's completely free - which is my number 1 every time!

      I can't believe how much I love my diffuser lamp - I don't even have it diffusing all the time - just the lights fading from one colour to the next makes me happy - and the few visitors we've had have all loved it too. I originally saw it on a FB ad, but they're on ebay - here's a link to one ad to get started with your search if you're interested: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Devanti-Ultrasonic-Aroma-Aromatherapy-Diffuser-3D-Light-Oil-Firework-Humidifier/313103287559?epid=21026937452&hash=item48e6690507:g:RQsAAOSwoZle1fqc

      I'm writing a post next week on a new term that I discovered that I think is def an oldest child thing - so that might interest you too xxx

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the information on all, Leanne. Yes, I have always been interested in how birth order affects personalities and life in general. I look forward to reading what you have found. xx

      Delete
  20. Love that diffuser lamp ... and the scent sounds great too. It must have been so good to link up with your daughter ... and it sure sounds like you have done well on the creative front. More power to your elbow. Myself and my wife have been devouring Friday Night Lights, on NBC about a small town American football team,
    and the lives of the characters, centered around around the team coach and his school principal wife. Terrific stuff. 76 episodes over five seasons, and we have watched 40 already!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Enda - isn't it great when you discover a TV series that grabs you? I started a few that left me cold, but then jagged a few that I love - and yes, when I see there's more than one season I just keep rolling on through!
      The diffuser lamp is probably not everyone's cup of tea, but I love it for the light display - a little bit of colour and prettiness never goes astray.

      Delete
  21. Hi Leanne, I love that you were a bit of a 'bad girl' and wrote your initials in the concrete. Way to go! :) I was also able to spend time with the family and grand kids in May, and get away for a few days. It was wonderful to have the hugs from the little ones and watch them play. It's those little things we just expect to have in our lives that can make such a difference when they're taken away from us for a while.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Candi - I'm always pleased to see our kids and grandies, but when I realized that it's a privilege, I appreciated it even more. We're heading up for a visit in a week and a half and I can't wait to see them all (our daughter and SIL will be there and I haven't seen them for more than 3 months - so very pleased!)

      Delete
  22. I am so glad you got to spend time with your family this month. That is the best! And how fun that the workers let you put your initial in the concrete. That will forever be your path now! And finally, I have definitely left any fantasies of turning into a warrior princess by the wayside. Bring on the bathrobe (or the yoga pants, at least)! #MLSTL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Christie - I must admit that yoga pants and pull on cotton pants have been my uniform for the last several months - they're so comfy for all the sitting around I've been doing - or for going out for a quick stroll around the neighbourhood - including my newly minted "L" path!

      Delete
  23. Replies
    1. Hi Jennifer - I always think that taking stock posts like these make bloggers seem more real - it's a little peek into our everyday lives and who we are as people. Glad you enjoyed the catch-up x

      Delete
  24. Leanne, I remember wishing May away and then June arrived and brought the most miserable weather. Moral of the story - be careful what you wish for. Love the books for your granddaughters. Are they digital or did you make physical copies? Would love to know more about the process of doing that. I look forward to all your new stories, especially about the purple shoes. We should all experience the feeling of leaving our initials in wet cement!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Suzanne - I made the books as e-books in Canva (love that program - free and it has soooo many templates for all kinds of things - check it out if you haven't already). I downloaded the e-book version and then my husband formatted it into a "proper" printed book (you have to figure out which page goes where when you're doing a hard copy (tricky stuff). He also adds a few little review comments at the end from fictional people - very droll and they give the adults a laugh!

      Delete
  25. LOVE the update and the making of books for your granddaughter especially. Thank goodness to for catch ups (FINALLY) with the family. A lovely post full of joy. Denyse #mlstl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Denyse - yes, the biggest take away for May for me was seeing the family again - and I can't wait to see our daughter next week (I don't think she and her husband have missed us particularly - but I certainly have!)

      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.