IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE

If we were having coffee here's a few things I'd be sharing about what happened during the month. I hope you'll sit and enjoy a virtual cuppa with me.

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE

If we were having coffee these are a few things I'd be sharing with you from July. Winter has well and truly set in here in Western Australia and the days are cold and wet - the perfect weather for sitting for a while with friends. There's nothing like a virtual cuppa and a chat, and I have lots to share from the last few weeks, so here we go....

BLOGGING

My MIDLIFE SYMPHONY series continued with another two lovely guests. First there was Amanda (from A Home By The Sea) who shared about her Midlife Relocation, and then Anne (from Anne's Happy Clues) wrote about Bringing Balance into her life.

I had the opportunity to share some of my story in two different guest posts during the month - Anne from Anne's Happy Clues who I mentioned above, was a guest on my Symphony series and asked if I'd swap guest posts, so I shared 3 Lessons I Learnt from a Tough Time

I was also invited by Sam from Loving the Fifty Something to be part of her Amazing Women Over 50 series (so now I'm an Amazing Woman - Yay!) and there I shared what I'd learnt since I turned 50 - ohhhhh so many lessons have come my way in the last 8 years - with more in store for the future I'm sure!

Then to round the month out I had two collaborative posts that I shared after being approached in June to see if I'd be interested. If you missed either of them you can find them HERE and HERE.

FAMILY-ING

Our daughter and son-in-law are city people through and through. They both grew up in the country, but the lure of the big smoke won them over and they rarely travel down this way. However, this month was an exception as our son-in-law had some work that would take a couple of days and our daughter was on holidays. 

We had a wonderful couple of days of visiting with her grandmothers, eating, shopping at op shops, talking, laughing, and talking some more. I miss spending time with her and it was just the best to have a good sized chunk of time together. It warms my heart just thinking about it. It was also really nice to spend some family time with our son-in-law and to have them both with us for two evenings - and a great opportunity to dig out the board games!

tourists Bunbury harbour

NOT-BAKING

I've never claimed to be a baker, or a chef, or a cordon bleu cook, in fact I thought we rarely used our oven. Well.....how wrong I was (not about the chef titles, but definitely about the oven use!) Our oven died and went to baking heaven sometime mid-June and we called in the repair man. It needed a new element and then covid raised its ugly head yet again with the news that it would be 6-8 weeks to get a new one due to shipping delays.

No big deal was my original thought - after all we don't use the oven/grill all that much.... well.yes.we.do! The number of times I've gone to use the oven and then had an Oh No moment are too numerous to count. Biggest disappointment - our orange tree has done so well this year that I thought I'd make orange drizzle muffins - until.....no oven, there's been no grilling of anything for dinner, and no scones, no cakes, no pizza, no pies.....

And yes, I could buy a pie maker, or an air fryer, or a convection cooker - but they all need storage space, and the oven will do all that when its new magic element arrives. Hopefully there'll be  an orange or two left to drizzle when the time comes - stay tuned...

BIRTHDAY-ING

It was my lovely husband's 60th birthday a few days ago - how did that happen? Last time I looked we were both in our 40s'! Still, it's such a good feeling to be doing life with someone you still love after nearly 40 years together. Who'd have thought that at 20 and 21 we'd meet each other and decide to take a leap of faith together. Two kids, two grandkids, three houses, countless jobs, a few dogs, several cats, and a lot of love - and we're still going strong. If you're interested in the longer version of our story you can read it HERE. Meanwhile here's a couple of photos from way back then until now.

family

READING

First book for July was "Where the Crawdads Sing" by Delia Owens, and I loved it. Beautifully written and with a plot of little twists and turns that I'd find myself thinking about during the day - or even at night before I fell asleep. Highly recommended, and I even suggested it to my husband (who isn't a fan of fiction) - he read it and enjoyed it too - so high praise!

I followed it up with "Phosphorescence" by Julia Baird - a really interesting read that I went into with very high expectations - and it was nothing like I expected. She writes with great magniloquence (amazing word - basically she's very flowery in her style) and I wanted her to get to the point more quickly. The other thing I had to adjust to was that each chapter was a new thought and a new topic - a bit like a series of blog posts cobbled together into a book (she says at the end that several came from newspaper articles she'd previously written). All in all, I'm glad I read it, there was a lot of beauty and thoughtfulness that I enjoyed - maybe I just needed to come to it without preconceived ideas to really have appreciated it.

Finally, I got around to finishing "Be.Do.Live." by Rajeev Dewan - a self-help book that I picked up on a $1 book sale table. Lots of motivational stuff and tips on how to move your life forward - each chapter was brief and choc-a-bloc with his experiences and ideas. I'm planning on going back to bits that I highlighted and working through them more to see if I can develop some of it in my own life - you're never too old to learn new tricks!

July book list

JIGSAWING

Another fun jigsaw for the month - my daughter-in-law has a collection of these and they're pleasant and enjoyable to do - 1,000 pieces and about 3 or 4 days of doing a bit here and there to finish one. This was the latest in the series.

jigsaw

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Well that's it from me during July. So, what have you been up to? Have you been doing any baking? I'd love to hear from you in the comments and we can cheer each other on as life slowly returns to a pre-pandemic "normal" in some parts of the world (and we can cry on each other's shoulder in sympathy for those who are still being impacted).


If we were having coffee here's a few things I'd be sharing about what happened during the month. I hope you'll sit and enjoy a virtual cuppa with me.

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

37 comments

  1. An eventful July for you, Leanne. Time with an adult daughter is a rare and precious commodity. I cannot imagine having access to fresh oranges. Oranges travel a long way before we see and taste one. “Doing life with someone you still love”. Goosebumps and happy, emotional tears. I extra love all of the photos! Especially, with your two grand babies. “Where the Crawdads Sing” is on my September camping list. Nice to hear your recommendation. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Erica - yes, I value every minute I get with her now she's married and living in the city. I've learned to adjust to being lower on her priority list, so when she can slot me into a chunk of time I'm thrilled. And yes, looking at that photo montage of my husband and me made me happy too.
      PS You'll love the Crawdads Singing xx

      Delete
  2. I can see you in your daughter's smile... and orange drizzle muffins - I need the recipe! Crawdads is on my list for this month - it seems as though everyone in the world other than me has read it, so that situation needs to be rectified.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jo - yes you definitely need to read the Crawdads and I definitely need to read one of your novels - it's on my to-do list! And my daughter tells me she sees me in her mirror when she gets up in the morning (not sure if that's good or bad???)

      Delete
  3. Hi, Leanne - Our oven died during COVID lockdown. At the exact same time, my Slow Cooker also died, and I had lent our microwave to our son. Breakfast: Cereal, Lunch: Cold Sandwich, Dinner: Salad (or exchange with the sandwich). I totally get what a drag it is. I'm glad that the rest of your July was filled with fun and family!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Donna - what a bummer about all your cooking appliances going bust at the same time. I lent my sandwich toaster to my mum for a while and suddenly realized I missed toasting my sandwich every now and then - my new element will bring me much joy when it arrives I'm sure!

      Delete
  4. Hi Leanne - Lovely pictures of you and Ross; and of your daughter and son-in-law. It is great that there was an occasion for you all to spend time together. Nothing more energising than that, is it not?
    I have just begun reading Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. I am not sure if I would like it. So far so good.
    There are increasing number of positive cases around. But the good thing is a majority of them are mild or very mild cases, and we are all coming to terms with this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Pradeep - I'm wondering if what you're saying about covid is what we'll all eventually be saying? So many countries are still swamped with it and those (like Australia) are putting their economies at risk trying to keep everything shut down to prevent the spread - we can't do that forever, so it will be interesting to see how it looks into the future.
      Let me know what your final verdict on the new book is.

      Delete
  5. Another fulfilled month for you Leanne and happy birthday to Ross for his milestone birthday! Let me tell you the 60s are fabulous. I've read Where the Crawdads Sing and it made such an impression on me and will be on my top ten list of favourite books. I wonder if your new oven turns you into a contender for Masterchef LOL:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sue - yes I'm shining my kitchen tongs in preparation for my Masterchef application (oh the irony of that....) and yes, I'm 60 next year and it's one of those pleasure and pain things where it seems old, but the reality is that there are so many women like yourself who are making 60 look so vibrant and alive - I'm hoping that will be me when the time comes. xx

      Delete
    2. Of course it will be you! You go to bed 59 and wake up 60 but you are still the same person :) Thanks for being my 'partner in linkups' for another week of #MLSTL. xx

      Delete
  6. Family time is the best, and I'm glad you are finally able to start catching up now. Your daughter certainly bears a striking resemblance to you! Love the family pictures! Sorry to hear about your oven,though. Here's a challenge - summon your inner pioneer girl and do some cast iron Dutch oven cooking outside. Maybe you can modify the muffins into an orange drizzle cake. We're in the throes of our blazing hot Texas summer, so I'm not too keen on cooking outdoors or indoors right now, lol! It's wonderful that life is becoming more normal there again - gives me hope! Unfortunately, COVID cases are still sky high here, and I think will continue to be so for awhile longer. Praying for better days ahead, and remembering to count my blessings. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Laura - so many of my US blogging friends have said the same thing about their covid numbers - scary stuff. Ours are so low because the country went into shutdown but you can't maintain that forever (or we'll go bust). I think there will be a lot more Australian cases in the future when we start opening our borders again.
      Not sure about doing a Little House on the Prairie cooking attempt - but I'm getting very good with a frying pan and the microwave. :)

      Delete
  7. Hi Leanne, Glad to see your July was filled with family time and fun despite the oven absence. I've also read and enjoyed Where the Crawdads Sing. #MLSTL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Natalie - Yes I saw that you rated the Crawdads in your top 5 books for the month - I'm glad you enjoyed it too - such a great read.

      Delete
  8. awwww what a lovely month..time with family birthdays etc...those orange drizzle muffins sound delicious...I have some oranges ....So I have been baking. Yesterday I made a Paleo Lemon Tart as we have so many lemons. had some last night it was delicious. Bread baking etc. I have some books to read yet to even pick them up, I just cant concentrate at the moment. As you would know here in the Greater Melbourne - we live by the bay its a lot of semi rural are in stage 4 of the lockdown day 3 i think. One hour to be allowed out for exercise a day and only one person can shop per day. so many business's will close up for the next 6 weeks. There was a loophole and people who were positive to Covd19 were allowed out to exercise. No wonder we have a problem in our state. As of yesterday that loophole has now closed. Its funny how we think we dont use something only to find out we do when it no longer works. Hope you get your new oven sooner than later. #MLSTL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bree - the new element has arrived and I'm still planning on making those muffins sometime this month. I feel so sorry for you guys in Victoria with all the lockdowns in place again because of a few who didn't comply when they should have. I am totally amazed at those who have tested positive and who aren't home when the checks are done - what is it with these people???
      WA is only one idiot away from the same fate and I just try not to think about it - we have the idiot footy players over here atm and they keep breaching the isolation rules - one's wife went for a facial (whoops she didn't know it wasn't okay....what??!!)

      Delete
  9. I have to show you the pics of our bookclub host's great efforts for Phosperence. I didn't like the book but I think the hype was part of the problem. I did find the bit where she took on the church really interesting tho. I also felt it was a little clumsily cobbled together pre-existing stuff....#MLSTL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lydia - yes to all of that - great effort on the host's part, shame about the book hype and it not meeting expectations - I wonder if the media pumps stuff up when it's from journalists etc? And yes it was just a bunch of unrelated random stuff - interesting if it was a blog, not so much as a book.

      Delete
  10. Hi Leanne. I’m slightly envious of the time you were able to spend with your daughter. Sounds like you’ve had a wonderful month. I love the sound of orange drizzle muffins #MLSTL Sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jennifer - I see so little of our daughter these days - busy with her career and her husband and her pets, and that doesn't leave much time left over for her parents. It's part of the empty nest adjustment when they don't live nearby for a quick coffee date. I'm so grateful we haven't been locked back into our zones and feel so sorry for you guys in Victoria - such a disaster all round.

      Delete
  11. Sounds like a great month, especially the visit with your daughter and son=in-law. None of ours are close either, so I can appreciate the opportunity to have them visit. Loved the pictures of you and your hubby, artfully arranged and beautiful. Congratulations on such a journey. I would be lost without my oven, ut now tht I am trying to eat healthier, I should be using it less often, to make my favorite cakes and cookies. Those orange drizzled muffins do sound good. I am one of those folks who has not yet read, "Where the Crawdad's Sing" but perhpas I will put it on my list. #MLSTL Michele

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Michele - you definitely need to add the Crawdads to your reading list - I've yet to meet anyone who didn't love it. And I'm going to share my orange drizzle muffin recipe on the blog because it's so easy and others might like to have a go creating some.

      Delete
  12. That was a very big month and catch up! Thank you. HB to your 60 year old husband. The photos and trip down memory lane were lovely. How cool to spend time with your daughter and son in law too. Memories made to last a while. As for the oven, we are renting and when this one broke down we thought we could manage but, like you each time we wanted to use it, we would remember. Fortunately the part got replaced and I got back to baking. Denyse #mlstl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Denyse - it's funny how we take appliances for granted isn't it - a broken washing machine or dishwasher or oven can have a much bigger impact than we anticipated. My element has arrived and been installed so those muffins are back on the agenda. And yes, it was wonderful spending time with our daughter - I miss living close to her and the chance for a regular coffee date.

      Delete
  13. Hi Leanne, I loved seeing the photos of you and your man through the years. You are truly blessed to have experienced a wonderful relationship...happy birthday to him! I hope your oven part arrives soon; those fresh orange drizzle muffins sound amazing! xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Candi - I enjoyed putting the photos together and they reminded me of how much water there is that's gone under the bridge and how lucky we are to still be together after nearly 40 years. And I'm definitely baking those muffins before the end of the month and then I'm going to share the recipe. x

      Delete
  14. My kids all live in the city too, but they love to come home "to get away from it all". I have many city people who see my home as a retreat and a peaceful place. I'm surprised your kids don't feel the same and come home more. I grew up in the city, but I always enjoyed getting away to the woods or the lake for a reconnection to nature.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Amy - I was surprised they didn't want to return more, but they're so busy with their jobs etc that taking a weekend away eats into that. Our son and DIL enjoy bringing the grandgirls down for a break and we see them quite often, but our daughter and SIL are definitely busy city people and the country has no allure for them at all (mores the pity for us!) So we just do the travelling for a catch up - and that's okay too.

      Delete
  15. Hi Leanne, since I am currently without a washer and waiting for it to come in and be installed next week I can certainly relate to your lack of an oven. I am not cook either, and don't think that I use my oven often, but actually I am sure I use it more than I realize. I am so glad that you got to spend time with your daughter and family. That has been the hardest thing during Covid. I am sure that brightened your smile for days!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Michele - I certainly comiserated with you and your broken washing machine when I read your post - that sinking feeling you get when it grinds to a halt in the middle of a sodden wash is a universal dread isn't it? Glad you found a replacement relatively easily - our oven element has arrived and been installed earlier than expected and it was such a relief to have it working again - now to get around to baking those muffins!

      Delete
  16. Hello Leanne. Good to catch up with you. I hope you get your oven fixed in time to use the oranges. It's very warm here, so no baking for us right now! Happy birthday to your husband and congratulations on all of your blogging accomplishments this month. Take care.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Christie - yes the element has arrived earlier than expected and I am still going to bake those muffins before the month is out - it's also nice to be able to cook normal meals again - less frying pan and microwave use - Yay!

      Delete
  17. Leanne, i enjoyed your catchup and I'm so glad you had some fun family time in July. There's nothing better! I'm still working my way through Phosphorescence and tend to agree with your review! Hope your oven is up and running again now. Huge happy birthday to Ross, your words are lovely and the photos show love! I have shared for #mlstl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Deb - I meant to ask how you finding Phosphorescence - interesting that you're finding it to not be as fabulous as expected too. I think I had too many expectations (at least you had a bit of warning!) And yes, family is just that best, if lockdown taught us anything, it was how much we miss our families when we aren't allowed to see them. Glad you had time with yours too x

      Delete
  18. Lovely update! I didn't have coffee this week - water. So I would have been a cheap coffee date "if we were having coffee".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Leanne - I'd be happy to shout you a water (or a coffee) - virtual ones are so cheap! :D

      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.