Grateful 2/52

Another week down which means only two weeks until it is back to work and school for the gang. This week I am grateful for the time out of my busy schedule to go into the city for a coffee with my daughter. It is amazing what a difference it can make to a week of full on studying. I have taken on 3 until this teaching period and I hardly have any time to do anything else but study. Now I have realised it is important to have some time out mid week (hump day) and have some me time!

Grateful 1/52

Thinking about how I can be a bit more productive with my writing I woke up in the middle of the night, thinking about how I can be grateful for experiences in my life and this image came to mind.
A sunflower starfish at the Seymour Marine Discovery centre in Santa Cruz, California. I am thankful for all the visits with the family when the kids were small. Just touching the creatures in the indoor tide pools has helped me appreciate the fragility of nature and the world around us.

Life in a nutshell

Well this is the final post of the year and I have been too busy prepping some food for a small party tonight. Covid restrictions are in place again, so we are having a in and outdoor party with the doors open on a cool 21 degree summers evening. Hey it is better than nothing, at least we can eat and have a glass of champagne to say farewell to 2020… Here is our year in a nutshell!

What a year it has been for the world! Here is what the Peaches got up to on this year of craziness and cancellations 😀 Liquid paper was my friend this year in my diary!!

We have had quite a busy year even though we were in lockdown from March until November. I remember waking up one morning and thinking – is it December already? What happened to the year?

The year began with lots of kindness towards each other and the animals and I organised a craft workshop to make pouches for injured animals. Australia was having a nightmare time with bushfires, and it seemed the whole country was on fire! It was like being in California when there were massive fires in the North, and the smoke came and sat in the valley, the same happened here and Melbourne was in a haze of smoke for days. We even got out the face masks so we could breathe outside. Hopefully, our stupid government will wake up one day and realise these fires were unprecedented and call upon our indigenous peoples’ knowledge to manage the land. But this is highly debatable, boo to them.

The disconnect with the land had me volunteering for a local farm to find some like-minded people to connect with and realise that others care about the environment. It was beautiful, but time is a tricky thing when studying and connecting with the community. We have been to lots of art exhibits in the first half of the year, and it has been so good to be back in Melbourne with easy access to so many cultural events. But then came the final event for 2020 – the New Order concert at an outdoor space in the city, my friend and I went, and we danced the night away as it was our last outing for a very long time!

Then came the most significant event a daughter could ever deal with, and that is losing my Dad. It was a shock that it happened so soon with the lung cancer diagnosis in January and then Dad was taken away from us in April. I realised the importance of family and being present for the special time on earth we have with them. My heart still hurts, and the grief is a process that will go for a while, I think. 

So I had to forgo my volunteering when I got a job at a local kindergarten, it is perfect to have the practical element for all the papers that I write. I have switched to an early childhood and primary school qualification to give me options in the future. Still, the community connections made me realise that we have found a wonderful place to live surrounded by people who care about the world around us, especially with our local Good Karma Network to share the goodness of news, free things, kombucha scoby and the like.

Then came the shutdown of our state and the mandatory face masks with many other rules in place to keep our community safe. Funnily enough, everyone complied and kept within the boundaries; of course, there were a few outliers. Still, the police put them in their place with fines – COVID is not a government conspiracy! Anyway, my crafting kept me sane and keeping on top of study plus work my daily exercise was super important. Then it was time to make lots and lots of facemasks – we knew we would need a stash for the future and I feel that is what has helped our state get to 0 community transmission in November.

But come September, Lockdown 2.0 was driving us a bit batty. Then some good news came, and we had finalised the move-in date for our house. It ended up being a 13-month build and thanks to our builder ordering the supplies early it was go, go, go! It was such a relief to finish packing the boxes and get ready to move into our house at long last! It was wonderful to finally focus on getting the house organised after the move and dig around in the boxes that were stashed away from our time in America. After we moved we were allowed to move freely again (with restrictions) and in November we were allowed to have people come over and it was so good to see friends again and eat together.  

So that was life for the Peaches in 2020, good riddance 2020 – here’s to 2021 and to bring in some new light from the dark places we have been in this year!

Love, peace and (virtual) hugs

Trish and the Peaches x

Homebody

Well this is what sums my life up in a nutshell for the past month or so as I went back to Uni and it has been full steam ahead as balancing 3 subjects with work can be a bit tricky, especially around assignment time! The dress above is my 1920s inspired outfit for our murder mystery Halloween GoogleMeet with our friends in California. Yep, its been a long time since I’ve written here!

We have also completed the landscaping in the yard which is beautiful! Just to paint the fence black now.

Life has been full and we have enjoyed having people over for dinner since COVID restrictions have been lifted. It has been so fun to have people over in our home again. We will be able to finally entertain and have a party one day in the future – housewarming here we come!

The weeks have flown by and its been me and the cats as a distraction from all my Uni work. Then there is work – I only work 11 hours a week, including long days with meetings. Not long till we are done for the summer break, 2 weeks to go! I am a bit flat after finalising 3 assignments this weekend and catching up on work. I need to create something to look forward to, maybe a trip to the new cinema?

Well I am so thankful everyday for this beautiful home, so why leave ;D

What a preservice teacher enjoys on holidays!

Knotting the days away until it was time to go back to Uni which was this week. I have to say I absolutely love my vintage plant stand and my plants are pretty happy in their new homes with thanks to tips for indoor growing on Gardening Australia! I recently finished this green macrame hanger for a string of pearls plant, it was a lot of knotting but once you got the hang of what to do it became quite meditative. This spot for the stand gets the morning sun and I am so happy to see it every morning when the sun is shining! Definitely quite an addictive craft and I plan on making more plant hangers for this stand.

I also had to get in some sewing before my holidays were complete and here is where I made the Little Green Dress by Tissuni designed to minimise waste on all levels from the pattern to the fabric. My friend in the US had made it and her post on Insta was divine. So I thought this is the perfect inspiration for some summer dresses that have an extra element to them with the details at the shoulders and the hem. I will have to post pictures of the finished dress soon!

Also I have been cooking up a storm in our new kitchen by eating a lot more vegetarian feasts with chickpea smash tacos which we had last night when friends came over for a housewarming. This is one of the many housewarming parties as we can only have one family over at a time per day.

And for the finale to my holidays I took a day out to the city by tram which was pretty quiet. I had been wanting to go to the botanical gardens in the city to hang out with the trees and get some gardening inspiration for our landscaping. It is such a special place to spend alone time amongst the peace of the trees and the plants eating lunch by the lake. I have to remember next time to wear some trainers, as there are quite a few paths to travel and save my sore feet.

Happy as a clam

It has been a long time between posts – over a month in fact! But in that month we have moved house and I have to say that we are so happy to finally be in our house. It is like a dream that we are finally here! The move in day was long and arduous but we made it through and finished our day with pizza sitting in camp chairs surrounded by boxes! So many boxes!!! I have to say it was quite amazing to finally unpack them all and find homes for all the stuff that we have had hidden away for the last 13 months. Yep it was 13 months for this build and we waited patiently through two winters in that freezing rental property, now it is all behind us!

I have been busy as when we moved it was school holidays so I had no work which meant 100% focus on getting the house ready before work and school went back – so the multitude of lists were complete with hanging all the artwork in our gallery space. We have also celebrated two birthdays – my hubby and my son, baked bread and biscuits in our amazing oven, enjoyed cooking everyday in our kitchen and admired the sky from the skylights in the bathroom and the stairwell. That ugly stairway above is from our rental property and I wanted to include it here as the cleaners did an amazing job!! We also got rid of boxes from IKEA and heaps of other stuff that we wanted to donate but could not because we have been in lockdown for over 100 days.

Back at work I’ve bought coffee for my workmates including a golden milk latte for me – so good to have matcha latte as a treat every so often too! It is so fun to be back with the children and playing outside when the sun shines or not!

Apricot is loving the sunshine and all the light this house brings and with that my passion for gardening is cruising along and I have been repotting all my plants as they adjust to new surroundings as well. My indoor plant collection is growing and now I have taken up a new craft macrame so I am pretty excited about making little nets for my plants to hang from. Time to get to work, it is amazing how your environment can change your whole being it still feels unreal that we are here and everyday I am thankful that we have this beautiful purpose built house to we call home.

All over the shop!

The days have been dragging on and life has been such a struggle as we play the waiting time to move into our house. We are so fed up with living in this freezing cold rental with its broken ceiling and terrible design. There is awful light in this house and my poor plants have suffered under cold conditions, they will be so happy when they are moved into our new house. We will be too, sure I have a roof over my head and have food in the fridge but there is something about when you are ready to go – it is time! Trying to focus on my study has been problem number one! As I sit at the dining table in a room with two massive windows and no heating (its super expensive and useless to heat this place) it is difficult to concentrate as I suddenly feel cold – so off I go to find a blanket, coat and a beanie. This is how I dress to feel comfortable inside this house. You can see above the cat is even done with living here too.

This is what the outside of our house looks like at the moment as I have called the real estate agent to fix this broken ceiling two months ago. It was certainly lucky that no one was out there the night when it collapsed, as it ruined a couple of my pot plants! Then the wire has been hanging there for ages until I emailed them to see when it could be fixed and they said not for another 10 weeks!! Good bye and good riddance to you all, this is a ridiculous scenario for $2700 in rent per month. Thank goodness we do not have to pay these guys one more cent. This place looks insane with its bubble wrap on the windows and ruined facade.

I have to be thankful for the location we are living near with the amazing, overflowing Merri Creek close by. A couple of weeks ago I went for a walk and a chat to my friend after a weekend of heavy rain. You can see the trees underwater due to the amount of rain – it was scary with the rushing flow of water but exciting at the same time to see all the rain that had fallen. Now it is September and spring is here and we are a bit happier to go outside in the sunshine in the morning to feel the warm sun on our faces.

Winter is in the background but the chill is still here, on a walk to the shops to get fathers day goodies we have found beauty in the flowering birds of paradise and a fresh little leaf on a plane tree. So much to look forward to when the warmth returns to our hemisphere soon.

Today I went for a walk to see our house and here it is, nearly there with its beautiful fence in place. We only have 11 days to go until we get the moving truck in the driveway to fill it with boxes and our stuff to take to our home. I am so looking forward to moving, as are the rest of the fam as we are trying not to complain about our living conditions but we all are done with living in an uninsulated house with hardly any natural sunlight. This is due to being a south facing house and it is a terrace house with windows on the front and back – there are prominent windows but not in the right place to capture the warmth. See our new kitchen below for the afternoon sunlight that we will enjoy through the big windows.

Well the countdown is on and it is the small wins and we celebrate next Wednesday only 7 days until we are outta here!

Our beautiful kitchen island minus the stone top

Spring in my step

When the sun is shining it is a time to go outside! After all the time I have been inside working from home and doing my Uni work I thought I had better grab that sunshine and get some vitamin D. Man I am happy that I did that Saturday morning as it was just beautiful! While I was walking I was listening to hope and all the inspiration from the Michelle Obama podcast on Spotify – seriously I love this so much!! As I wandered around the streets I even took off my winter coat discovering remnants of spring at every turn.

I went walking to our house to check out how our concrete project turned out and I was pretty impressed with the gum leaves on the left and the conifer trees on the right that remind me of the beloved Redwoods in California.

Garden inspiration at the Royal Melbourne Hospital at Parkville. This garden is absolutely stunning with the waterfall in the centre. Its strange I felt I had been there before but maybe it has featured in films, who knows?

This was my work project last week as I created a Spoonville community for our kindergarten, hopefully this little fella survived the crappy weather this weekend and did not get washed away! I am sure the afro is looking a bit damp now. I love this idea as there are little communities popping up everywhere where the kids decorate an old wooden spoon to give it a new life. A perfect project for the children in lockdown and our kindergarten community.

Oh and can 2020 get even worse! My yoga teacher friend posted the above picture of the visitor centre at Big Basin State Park in California after a lightning fire engulfed the park. It is so sad to see this as we spent a lot of time under the redwoods camping, hiking and enjoying nature. California is where I really got to appreciate the environment (I love banana slugs) to become who I am as an environmentalist. Seeing these fires year after year, not only in California but here in Australia has brought me to the realisation that government is doing f…k all! We all need to get busy, so I am now listening to The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis because if we don’t get a start soon we are all gonna be screwed. After time in lockdown with this pandemic we now have an opportunity to turn our future around and this needs to begin ASAP.