What does this button do?

Orders yet another cat tower, I think. Two more arrived since the first one. They have a dedicated cat tower out in the Nirvana now, though we will probably rotate them around regularly. There is nothing cats like more than furniture moved to a new place, except more cardboard boxes.

Or perhaps this button plays the next episode of Bridgerton on Netflix. I have seen them all now but certainly would not mind watching it again, that was just delightful.

Christmas was fine, we bought a new table especially so we would have enough room for everyone. Here you see the new table joined to the old table. We were 8 in the Nirvana this year and it was a big day of eating and drinking. Perhaps too much so.

My bestie and her daughter and I were at Aldi on Boxing Day first thing – masked of course – to attempt getting new teevees. There was a 55 inch smart teevee on special. We were successful and I have to say this is the best Christmas present I can remember in recent times – except of course my Lego version of Bunnings which I am to put together soonest. I have gone from three remotes to one and it is a lot easier to use.

The business is still very busy but we have started to put some things in place that free us up a little bit more, and hopefully we can tweak and fine tune that in 2021 to give us more time back.

We got solar installed a couple of weeks ago. If I had known that would be as fascinating as television to The Other Half I would have suggested we do it a long time ago.

The cats and chickens are all well and happy. Both very spoiled as always, of course.

We have been watching The Mandalorian and I love it which is weird as I do not like Star Wars at all. Maybe because it is shorter, maybe because of Baby Yoda, but whatever it is I am fully on board.

Looking Forward –

What is with everyone who seems to think New Years Eve will magically fix everything 2020 related? Do the fireworks in Sydney Harbour contain some magical virus killing properties we are presently unaware of? Do all the people who died this year magically return to life? It isn’t like a new (possibly – probably – more sane) president gets sworn in at midnight in the US, nor does midnight on NYE instantly solve world hunger or remove any of the things that vex us currently. I think a lot of people are setting themselves up to be very disappointed.

I will simply expect more of the same and I think that will continue for quite a lot of 2021. Hope is a fine thing to have but delusional thinking is another thing entirely and haven’t we seen more than enough of that in 2020?

The delusional thinking of those who think their freedoms (freedumbs perhaps) are more important than the freedoms of others, for those who think they are magically immune to things and thus do not need to mask, for those stuck in a country where the only safe plan is to hunker down inside ones own house because the people outside are determined to do whatever it is they want and f**k everyone else’s wants.. for those who think the colour of their skin entitles them to berate, belittle and outright murder those with differently coloured skin, none of that is going to magically vanish on New Year’s Eve either.

I can’t fix the world. I truly begin to think nobody can. All I can do is focus in on what exists within my own four walls and make that better. So my plan for 2021 is simply that – Home.

Unlike a lot of others home for me includes work, I am very lucky in that respect.

In these next few days between Christmas and New Year I am going to tackle some things at home which have been annoying me for a while. A pantry clean out and reorganize, a fixing of some shelves that have become a dumping place for things which need homes.. those kinds of small jobs that we put off till later but later never appears.

My New Year Wish For You –

I wish you all the best in 2021

If by chance (reality) we get the same kind of shyte we got in 2020 I wish you all the patience in the world to deal with it.

Now I press this button and we’ll see what happens next! ;)


I wish I had More Time.

To blog, to do things that aren’t work related, to read your blogs, to comment, to just sit and watch teevee. This photo is from my Hawaii trip in 2010 or 2011, I am not sure which one. Wouldn’t it be nice to just sit in the water on some kind of floating device and not have to.. answer messages or the phone or pack website orders for a few days.

But I do not have more time. Right now I have admin work that needs to get done and a bunch of new products that need to be added to the website some of which have been waiting two weeks already since they got here. I finally got the photos taken yesterday in a mad bulk photography session.

Where the f**k did August go? It was our Birthday Month here at the studio and thus it vanished in a haze of giveaways and general celebrations. We posted hundreds of packages and the reason I know that is I have a massive post bill sitting here waiting to be paid.

All of this is quite boring for you folks to read I am certain of that. Other peoples work is not very interesting. So let me mention the cats and chickens. All are well at the moment.

I fear for my oldest chicken. I do that every year when it starts to warm up. Here she is with her sisters on the day we first got them – both her sisters are no longer with us. I know I shouldn’t always see them whenever I see her but I do, I can’t help it. Those three were the ultimate trio, tackling chicken life together. I miss the other two every single time I see her, and I can’t help but think one day I will lose her too.

For now, it is extra blueberries, tomato, corn and tuna for this last sister standing who I adore. She will be ten years old at the end of November and that is a very long life for a chicken.

The kitties received a surprise gift this week. They got a new cat tower. They started playing with it before we even began building it. They are delighted.

Cuckoo kitten has been a godsend for us. She gives us endless laughter and joy. She is so funny. Happy has finally accepted her as a companion and they play together. I have even caught Happy licking Cuckoo from time to time, when she thinks we are not looking. That is how Happy does most things – she will play with toys but if she spots us watching her she stops.

The wonderful lady at the cafe we buy our lunches from did Fisherman’s Pie this week. I was so tempted to buy 7 of them and have it every night for dinner. I settled for four in the end, and the other half has four lasagne. So I do not have to cook dinner for four nights this week. I would have bought some to freeze but our freezer does not have any space to spare – we are doing very well at stocking up and not going shopping very often.

I’m still wearing a mask whenever I go shopping which makes it a chore I don’t enjoy so much. I find it makes me feel like my nose is running – it actually isn’t, it just feels that way. I think it is just having something so close to my nose and having that piece of wire holding the mask in place. I just topped up on fresh foods today so I won’t have to do it again for quite a while other than to get pizza bases and milk from time to time.

Hoping everything is good with you all. :) I better go do this admin work. It isn’t going to do itself lol. ;)


A Month Later

And a couple of days but who is counting?

We’ve had to upgrade our storage system. I was using clothes racks with pants (trouser) hangers. Does anyone want a couple of hundred of those? I have many many many of them spare now.

Well. I wish I could say the workload has become less but if anything it has become more especially in the past week as we added Afterpay to the website and I was preparing to do a stocktake while setting up the new storage system. We did that Friday and Saturday.

Fridays are usually pretty quiet around here – I get why because I never go anywhere on a Friday, it is the day all the tourists come down and clog up the highway. But of course the minute one plans to do something on a Friday..

At one point I had three customers in the store plus my parents in the studio trying to count things.

I reached TILT point sometime Saturday afternoon not long after we finished the stocktake and thus took the rest of Saturday off and today, Sunday, I am steering clear of the business and using the day to catch up on some much needed housework.

I am actually trying to find a cleaner to do some of the things I just no longer have time for.

We had a lovely young man come in and mop the floors of the kitchen/dining/hallway and two of the bathrooms a few weeks back, they had just started to be very slippery and I could tell more expertise was needed than I was capable of putting together. He used some kind of special floor cleaner and the floors were so gorgeous for a while there. I’m hoping he can fit me in once a fortnight to do the spare bathroom and toilet plus the ensuite, and the floors.

But today I have to deal with my entertainment area which has gathered a lot of dust and needs a full on attack of wiping over.

This was meant to just be a hobby business to keep me entertained while The Other Half went to UNI. Something to give me a focus after my last horrible employment experience. Well it certainly has done that. And a bit more.

I hope you are all keeping well. I do not keep up with the news anymore. Enough was enough a few weeks ago, I have enough to focus on here.

I do sometimes get a chance to read your blogs and I always open up your posts to leave comments but then I get sidetracked and distracted and me typing the comment never seems to actually happen. I’m sorry about that. But know that I am keeping good thoughts for you all. **hugs**

COVID-19 2020

Just when you think you’re

getting somewhere.. and things will become less busy.. you find new and interesting ways to take up all your time space. ;) I want to take a lesson from the chickens – look only at what is in front of you, forget the past, forget the future, just deal with now.

We’ve been wrangling with our new posting plugin on the website. Everything needs sizes added and weights, so the website can work out what package to put things into, and then automatically generate those packages. Once I get all of that information added it will take a lot of work from my shoulders but.. it is a long process. We have hundreds of items that we sell.

Well I did get a whole day off last week. I went to craft, then to lunch, then determinedly did no work when I returned home.

I had orders to pack and post, I did not do it. The Other Half always says to me – you don’t have to post things the minute they are ordered. Well I know I don’t have to but I like to. It does make better sense to do posting in batches, for sure.

I’m not going to jinx myself anymore by saying I will have time to do things. I simply won’t no matter how much I automate or get better processes for. This business is time consuming and that is just the way it is. This is our new normal. I’ve got to accept it. ;)

How is everyone else doing? I am at least managing to read most of your blogs. I open windows to leave a comment but get sidetracked before I tend to manage it. Sorry! ;)

COVID-19 2020

Still Running Forward

I got my nails did yay. :)

Those of you who commented recently will have received an email from me with a link to the website. So now you know what is keeping me so busy! It is an awesome business and lots of fun. But I’m finding the recent transitions a little.. difficult.

On May 25th we began workshops in the studio again. Pre-COVID, we’d been running at least two evenings a week, sometimes three, plus some daytime sessions. I have a differently abled client who was attending once a week privately – she can’t handle having other people around. My last session with her was March 9th and we shut down the evening sessions not long after that. I think by March 16th we stopped running as a studio.

So that was quite a bit of time – over two months – without people attending for lengthy amounts of time. We still had people popping in to pick things out or up, but not staying for two and a half hours as they do with a session. We’d got used to having our evenings back.

I didn’t need to have a tidy kitchen by 6:30pm, I didn’t need to have dinner eaten by then, I didn’t need to factor in time to get ready or set up the studio.. and now I/we do need to do that. It is yet another adjustment in a long line of adjustments.

Harder for me I think is to transition from running full pelt from 7-7:30am till 10pm at night as I have been doing for a couple of months now. It is 8:35pm and I should – and will – take the rest of the night off.

I’ve had a HUGE day, 3 sessions in the studio plus 13 clients attended to purchase items, a massive package arrived which I needed to open and get a couple of things out of and thus had to take it all out of the box, a couple of other deliveries, four packages packed and posted..

I’m pretty tired and know I need to take a break.. yet I know there is a lot of work sitting there which I need to do..

It is really hard for me not to just do it, as Nike says. I need to learn how to not do it. :)

COVID-19 2020

All Is Well

And finally getting some time off. We did our Campbelltown delivery run this morning, and apart from sending one Paypal invoice and a very short 20 minutes of loading something important onto the website when we got home, I took the rest of the day off.

I could have packed up tomorrows post but I didn’t. I could have gone in and cleaned up the studio – it is in a bit of a state at the moment and I have class tomorrow night – but I didn’t.

I cooked vegetable soup from scratch while listening to Judge Judy in my cordless headset, and then we ate soup while watching a Seinfeld, and then I watched The American President. And now I type this, then off to bed. Next weekend I might take an entire day!

The website has made a huge difference – sorry I didn’t get to emailing the link to folks yet. Definitely this week I will do it. :)

I’m not having to have the same conversation over and over again. People can see what is in stock and they can order it themselves. The website sends me an email to let me know what has been ordered, I go and find it, and then send it. It will get even quicker once I work out the Australia Post modalities. :)

I have a mani pedi in the morning yay! This was my conversation with my nail lady. And not before time. While rolling up a canvas last week, I cracked a nail. Not badly, not to the point of a problem but enough that I was a bit worried. They got so long in the last couple of weeks. I have trouble typing now. I will definitely be going short tomorrow. And a different colour too.

I hope you are all well! Bedtime here.

Catch up with these other folks blogging about our new normal. :)

Moving With Mitchell
Dkzody’s Weblog
High Riser
Sean at Assholes Watching Movies
Joanne @ Cup On The Bus

Should your blog be listed here? Leave me a comment and it will be next time. :)

COVID-19 2020

And just like that..


And for the most part I cannot tell you what I did other than work and a delivery run to Campbelltown with a stop at IKEA to pick up Kallax shelving for the studio. That is the secret IKEA back alley you see up there – make use of it and your trip will be a lot quicker!

I did manage to get some of the rainbow IKEA bags at long last.

Plus also work, more work, and work. Oh and we got tested for COVID – all clear.

Since we last talked, I have posted 40 packages, 4 of those international to the USA with a 5th to head that way tomorrow. TO ALBUQUERQUE I nearly lost it when she gave me the address being the huge Breaking Bad fan that I am.

And I anticipate more work as I now have three DHL packages packed full of essential items due to land in the next couple of days. Plus a website about to go live in the next couple of days. If you want a link to it when it goes live leave me a comment on this post and I will email it to you. :)

It feels like no time passed at all. I do not understand what is going on, am I trapped in some kind of Delorean but it goes forward instead of back in time? But I did get an awful lot of awesome stuff done, such as new shelving in the studio –

Plus all the old shelves went into the storeroom..

Just like that, a room I hated to go into at all because it was such a disorganised mess is now a pleasure to visit.

These Kallax were already here. There are two more in the house in The Other Half’s room. Everything business related now has a home and it feels amazing. And maybe this means once I launch the website I might have some spare time again.

But you know, today it all caught up with me. I usually go to a weekly craft group on a Wednesday and while we aren’t allowed to go back into the hall, the ladies set up a coffee morning in a local park, and groups of ten were allowed to sit in circles and chat and have coffee and snacks.

I was so thrilled to see everyone. It was such a great morning. Absolutely gorgeous day out. It wasn’t until we were about to leave that the reality of our new reality hit me like a freight train. I was able to keep it together until I got back in the car but I drove home with tears running down my face.

I think I have been so busy and focused on looking after everyone else – the parents, the other half, the animals, the business, doing what needs to be done in the safest way possible, the masks, the hand sanitizer, decontaminating.. it has all been go, go, go. I’ve had no time to think about what we’ve lost. The normal, the usual, the people we’ve not been able to spend time with.

I really missed those ladies. I wanted to hug them all and of course I couldn’t. But at least I got to see them.

And I really missed you all. I haven’t even had time to blog read, or watch teevee, or do anything even remotely like relax and catch up.

But the next 3 days are mine. I’ve closed the doors to take a time out before we reopen the studio next week to clients. I’ve got stuff to post and the website to sort out but I am quite determined to business only from 9-6pm for the next three days – the rest of the time I will be relaxing, reading your blogs and commenting on them, and watching some teevee at last. :)

Plus spend some time in this newly awesome space.

COVID-19 2020

Quick Bite

Well. I had got into the habit of writing down the days events each day so this post was all ready to post on Wednesday or Sunday. But holy cow, have I had a few days of insanity.

We make a product ourselves here at home using our laser engraver. And in normal times we do reasonably well with it, it is a big seller among our customers. Over the uni holidays last year I suggested to the other half we try to make some stock so he wouldn’t have to be making them quite so often, and we had built up the stock levels to an OK place..

But then someone ordered one of those items, they posted it on Facebook, it got reposted and reposted and went a bit viral. We’ve got over 40 of these items in the queue waiting to be made now. So pretty much all we’ve done for the past couple of days is make them or take orders for them, except for those times when I ran to the post office to post the ones we made.

I did go to Woolworths once on Monday to get potatoes, cream, bread and tomatoes for the parents. I dropped into the post office first and ended up buying 200 post bags – nearly $200 dollars worth! – so that I could just not have to worry about buying them all the time. If you buy in bulk you get a big discount too. But I hadn’t been expecting to do that and I had parked some distance away, and I had to walk with these enormous boxes quite a long way.

We got our donut delivery – all eaten.

I got a delivery of Bath and Body Works – they were doing postal deliveries now in Australia YIPPEE :) but now it seems all that info has vanished! I can’t believe it, I was so excited to be able to order and then tell you about it too.. :/

Oh and in amongst all of this insanity we have been trying to build the business website. I remember now why we stopped building websites for people.

I am going to post this and take a well deserved evening off, if I can. ;)

Catch up with these other folks blogging about our new normal. :)

Moving With Mitchell
Dkzody’s Weblog
High Riser
Sean at Assholes Watching Movies
Joanne @ Cup On The Bus

Should your blog be listed here? Leave me a comment and it will be next time. :)

COVID-19 2020

Sunday The Delivery Day

The plan for today was a photo every hour – big thanks to An Exacting Life inspiring me to do this. Some hours I forgot, sorry! ;)


We kick off the day with morning coffee in my well loved favourite mug. Sorry no photo I forgot – but above you see a photo of the mug taken when we bought it in 2006. It really does not look like this anymore, the pattern has worn off the side and it is kind of grey now instead of black. This was actually a mistake. I was meant to have a small coffee as we were travelling about 300kms today and I did not want to have to bathroom break. Epic Fail kids!


Soap delivery! How cute are these musk flavoured lifesaver soaps? Half are for me, half for Mother for Mothers Day, but we dropped them off on our way this morning.


Setting up to go and do our deliveries. These are all checked, packed, and ready to be put in the car. On one side there you can see my clipboard with the Square terminal on it which allows us to take card payments on the go.


I forgot to take a photo this hour because we were on the most terrifying bit of road I can recall having been on in some time. But I do have a jump back in time video for you. It turns out we were parked by the side of the same terrifying road when HARS flew the big 747 in to Albion Park. What an amazing day this was. But even better was that time I got to touch it with my own hands while standing underneath it.


Again I forgot this hour. Not sure exactly where we were, either. I think we lost a full hour of time! Somewhere in here we did a quick bathroom break at what used to be Westfield Warrawong. I do remember us trying to find a petrol station and failing somewhat epically on two occasions but we finally managed to refuel the car.

When I ran into the former Westfield I was a bit shocked at the levels of go back to normal folks have taken on board. Nobody was bothering with social distancing and I was one of only two people wearing a mask. I was in and out of there pretty quick but I will not be surprised if we get a major second wave in a couple of weeks.


And now I remembered to take a photo because I set me a timer, lol. :) On our way up Bulli Pass.


Having completed all the deliveries, 2:30 saw us on the Hume highway after departing Campbelltown. The speed limit here is 110km/hr FYI.


This was by far my favourite hour of the day, because it found us at Gelato Emporium getting gelato.

I had a cone. The Other Half had a shake, it took him exactly 7 minutes to consume it.


Nearly home. This photo was just past Berry.


Afternoon coffee time somewhat late. With a dark chocolate kit kat.


Wearing my comfy foot warmers in my new rug watching Helicopter ER in between answering customer queries. One of our items went viral and this has become A Thing. I am about ready to buy a pair of fresh slightly oversize gumboots so that I can wear these foot warmers everywhere I go, they won’t fit into any of my shoes sadly.


Having set up a Google Sheets for tracking the viral thing, the rest of the evening was mostly spent taking orders, chatting with customers and adding things into the spreadsheet..


Cuckoo warming herself in my lap space – she seems to love this rug. I swapped them over this week because it got very cold here.


Watching a little bit of teevee before bedtime. Actually watching it having put the laptop aside instead of multi-tasking watching it. :)

I challenge you all –

Will you take a photo an hour for one day this week? If yes, let me know in the comments! ;)

country life, COVID-19 2020