4WD Tales

snow road street winter
Photo by Sinitta Leunen on Pexels.com

The Other Half has been wanting a 4wd to use as his camping car for a while. At first I was very anti this idea. An extra car rego to pay, tyres, every year a pink slip to show it was roadworthy, it just seemed to me like a money pit we really did not need to throw our money into. There are better things to spend money on especially when camping with the boys was a once every 3-6 months thing.

And camping with ME is a NEVER thing. I do not camp, except at 5 star hotels. And those can be reached with a normal vehicle which we already own two of.

I told him he could have one providing he saved up for it out of his own monies, and he did that. He bought a secondhand old 4wd locally and has been spending his Sundays working on it for the last few months. He finally convinced me to go for a drive in this thing. I actually loved every minute of it. And here are some pics.

This is part of an area which was affected by the bushfires in 2019/2020. You can see the effect it has had on the trees. They all look very weird.

After we had explored here for a while, we went back home and switched cars and headed out to Jervis Bay for a 5k walk. By the time we got there the weather had changed a little but was perfect for our purpose.

It is still just as gorgeous out here as it ever was. And we’re making more of an effort to get out regularly now whether separately or together. We need some nature time. ;)

beach walk, country life

Snoskred Plans, Packages Laugh.

brown cardboard boxes on brown wooden floor
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Last week I told you about taking back the reins – also known as the f**k Gladys plan. Painting was due to begin Monday so on Sunday night I thought I better check where my packages of incoming stock were located.

Hilariously 4 of them were in Erskine Park, which meant they would turn up here within 48 hours. And of course I did not have my usual studio space to process them.

The plan was not to touch them until I got the studio back, but that plan never works out for me. Tuesday they arrived, Wednesday I began processing them, and then the 5th box showed up as well as a box of stock from Melbourne.

The studio has been painted however we were not 100% happy with the work. Normally I would ask the person doing the work to fix it, only that person managed to step in paint and walk it all over my pristine teal carpet which turned into two hours of scrubbing the carpet to fix it, so we decided it would be safer to do our own touchups. We did the walls yesterday morning and I have the skirting boards to do over this next week.

Once we completed our painting touchups, I turned my attention to the two remaining boxes which needed processing. Managed to finish them all that day.. so I’ve just got a lot of admin to do now adding them to the website. Over 100 new to us products.

For the first time in a long, long time, we took Sunday off together. We definitely need to do that more often. I’ll share some more pics of that in our next post but for now this is a waratah we found in our travels. :)

Uncategorized, work

Taking Back The Reins

silhouette photo of person riding on horse under twilight sky
Photo by Arvind shakya on Pexels.com

When we did the business tax in June, my accountant had said to me – well you did carpet in the studio, you did a new laptop and phone in 20/21 – I want you to start thinking about what you want to do in 21/22.

I said I already know – I would like to get the studio painted. But to do that I would need to close the studio and take everything out of the room. Maybe I could shut down over Christmas? But would it cost more to get a painter then? Would there even be anyone who would be willing to do it?

It has now been 4 weeks since we were locked down for 7 days, and there are no signs we will be let out anytime soon. Our area, the Shoalhaven LGA, was doing well. Then we got a couple of cases right before regional NSW was due to be let out of lockdown on the 10th of September.

Personal wise, we actually do extremely well during lockdowns. Home is our happy place and where we like to be. We’ve got everything we need here and whatever we don’t have we can easily get.

Business wise, we had switched to click and collect or post only before we went into the lockdown. We had planned to reopen the studio to workshops and customers on the 14th of September. I particularly miss my Thursday morning ladies. We laugh so much during those sessions!

Even if we had been let out of lockdown, snap lockdowns could happen at any time a regional area gets a case. That makes planning things incredibly hard, especially when you have to organise catering, milk for coffees, tidying up the room ready for people to come in, etc.

So this latest addition to lockdown was a bit of a kick to my mental health. On thinking about it, what was really bothering me the most was feeling like I had no control over the situation. I need to take back the reins.

Then we were told that businesses would be fined for serving people who are not vaccinated. How they plan to implement this, I have NO clue. Why I get to become the vaccination police I do not know. I don’t know how it is going to work. I actually don’t really want to know, either.

I’ve decided we are staying click and collect until the end of October regardless of what happens. That way I am not subject to the whims of our Government Overlords. If NSW overall does come out of lockdown mid-October there will be a couple of weeks for me to see what happens with the new system(s) in place, and decide whether or not I as a business owner even want to open myself up to dealing with it.

If I decide I do not want to deal with it, we will stay click and collect until the end of the year and then reassess the situation. This is my business, and I am in charge of what happens here.

In the meantime, everything has been emptied out of the studio. One carpet tile around the border of the room has been removed. Preparation for painting begins 9am tomorrow. I absolutely am not doing that myself. :) One of the Thursday ladies has a husband who paints. Colours have been chosen but I will keep that a surprise for a later post.

Hope you are all well! :)

COVID-19 2020, work

With One Click

In this room on my personal computer, I am always just one click away from being able to log into Facebook. I never ever have done it on this computer, and I never, ever will.

This room is my private sanctuary away from work. As much as I hate it, my personal Facebook has become completely wrapped together with work. There is no way to separate the two from each other.

Thus the only place I will log into Facebook is on the work computer. And when I am on the work computer, I do not have time to be scrolling through my newsfeed looking for updates from friends and family, as few and far between as they would be.

If I get up from this chair now and go into the other room to look at my Facebook, what will I see?

I will see a lot of posts from local businesses. I will see a lot of posts involving Hawaii. I will see posts from zoos. I will see photos of landscapes and animals and flowers. I will sometimes see a post from family or friends.

BUT..

If family or friends post something I don’t like, I will snooze them for 30 days. If when they are un-snoozed they post another thing I don’t like.. I will click “the button” to stop seeing posts from them in future.

I won’t see any conspiracy theories because every person/business I know who has ever posted one, I have clicked “the button” to stop seeing posts from them.

I won’t see any political posts because every person/business I know who has ever posted one, I have clicked “the button” to stop seeing posts from them.

My Question Is –

Why haven’t Facebook come up with a way to separate out business from personal? Probably because they don’t care or they don’t see how much of a problem it can be.

Until they fix this, I’ve had to take what I consider to be pretty extreme measures – separate laptops, separate phones, without Facebook on any of the personal devices – to separate work from personal.

internet, work

From Bad To Worse

It began with one limo driver who transported some flight crew to their hotel in mid June. He was not vaccinated nor was he required to wear a mask. This is an older article that details some of the happenings after that.

Should we even talk about the failings of our federal government to organise some facilities for flight crew to quarantine and safe ways for them to get to and from those facilities, not to mention travellers coming into our country?

Should we then talk about the failings of our state governments to say no, we will not allow people in unless you build these purpose built facilities? Or say if you won’t build them we will?

Should we talk about the failings of a prime minister whose one job was to secure enough vaccinations for the country who epically failed at that one job?

No, we will not talk about those things, as angry as we might be about them. We will just talk about what is happening here right now.

I live in the Shoalhaven local government area. We presently have no cases in our area. We were locked down for 7 days on Saturday the 14th of August. The announcement came quietly via the ABC covid blog around 2:30pm on the Saturday and when it was officially announced at 3:45pm it was on Gladys’s twitter, FFS. Are we regionals not important enough for a proper press conference?

The first person I contacted at 2:30 was my nail lady – I had an appointment for the following Monday, and I wanted to see if she could fit me in before the lockdown began at 5pm. She could not, sadly.

The second thing I did was ring my parents to see if they needed anything which of course they did, so it was a very quick trip to the shops for me. Luckily I made it there before most people had even heard about this lockdown. I got in and got shopping – by the time I left there was a steady stream of people coming in and all the trolleys were gone.

In this house we are mostly prepared to go into lockdown at any moment. We didn’t really need much here. We’ve got enough toilet roll to last till 2022 and we keep stocked up on things like tissues and paper towel.

We have our local cafe who has been making all our lunches and some of our dinners for 64 weeks now since the first lockdown way back in 2020. Once a week they do a market day menu, we order on Sunday and collect on Thursday. It supports their business and I am not going to lie, there is no way I could do all the work I do without the work they do. I simply would not have the time to cook for us and run the business.

I work from home all the time and the other half normally does one day in the office but they switched back to completely from home once the latest outbreak began in June, so the only thing that tends to change for us with a lockdown is my business gets a lot more busy.

I banned the parents from taking the mail to the depot or going anywhere. They were to ask me if they needed anything – as I have had both my vaccinations. They had not had any vaccinations at all. Mother was very anti- Astra Zeneca and she wanted Pfizer. Understandably so, there was a lot of bad press about Astra Zeneca and a lot of mixed messaging. They have now had their first shot this past week.

Having rescheduled my nail appointment, of course the lockdown was extended for another 7 days.

I rescheduled a second time, in fact I should be having my nails done this afternoon. But of course the lockdown was then extended another two weeks. And we still have no cases here. We have not had one yet.

I feel terrible for all the businesses who are trying to get support from the government. A friend of mine is a hairdresser and it has taken the full two weeks of regional lockdown for her assistance package to be approved.

I feel even more terrible for the people who have been locked down endlessly in Sydney with no real end in sight yet. Their lockdown was extended to the end of September and we all know it will likely be even longer than that.

We’re ok here. However the anger and frustration I feel – we maybe all feel – towards the people in charge is growing. I can’t listen to another press conference because all I want to do is throw things at the TV. I can’t hear any more news right now. I’m just focusing in on the things I can control – my business and my work and making sure both our households have everything we need.

I think this tweet from Paul says it all.

We are the gold stranded.

I hope you are all doing great! :) Whether you are stranded or not.

COVID-19 2020

Fully Vaxxed

Got the second Pfizer shot yesterday. Definitely feeling not the best today but I had planned ahead in case that happened. Can confirm I have a very sore arm. The Other Half had his first Pfizer last weekend.

Hope you are all well! :)

COVID-19 2020

I Know It Seems Wacky

but here I sit with a headache and a cup of tea that has half a drop of Doterra fennel oil added to it. And I know within the next 20 minutes this headache will vanish, because this is not my first fennel oil rodeo, my friends.

FYI unlike a lot of oils, Doterra oils are safe to use internally AKA drink.

Yes, I have become one of *those* people. If by those people we mean someone who tries something once, finds that it works for them, and keeps doing it.

The person who introduced me to Doterra specifically is one of those *other* people – by those other people I mean an anti-vaxx conspiracy theory nut. She certainly wasn’t one of those to begin with but Covid has sent her in that direction to the point that I have muted her on my Facebook feed. Not that I ever get any time to read my Facebook feed these days but when I do, I don’t want it to be full of nutty conspiracy theories.

Note to all – there is a feature on Facebook called snooze for 30 days – I usually hit that first. When Facebook unsnoozes them, if I read one of their posts and think wow, really? I then hit unfollow but remain friends. Occasionally I actually unfriend but that is rare.

Now this next thing I am going to tell you will sound even more wacky. I know this! But, I can’t believe how this little iTovi scanner thing fixed me.

Recently I was put on a new medication. It solved the problem I had, but.. one of the side effects of this medication for me was jaw clenching. It was so bad that I would wake up with a headache, and my doctor advised me to see my dentist for a mouth guard.

That same week I saw my Doterra lady. She has this neat thing called an iTovi scanner. What is that?

The iTOVi Scanner sends the electrical signatures of the essential oils and supplements to your body. Your reaction is recorded at that moment and matches them to your unique electrical signature. The iTOVi then provides you a report of the top products you respond to best.

Yes, I know. Wickety Wacky Wack. But we did a scan, and the number one oil my body needed at that time was pink pepper oil. I did not know why, but I put it in the diffuser all the same. The jaw clenching began to lessen and particularly overnights when I put it in our bedroom diffuser. Intrigued, I read up on pink pepper oil.

The combination of the chemical components Limonene and α-Phellandrene in Pink Pepper may work with your body to soothe and relax the nervous system when used internally.*

All day every day, I drink plain soda water. So I added a couple of drops of pink pepper oil to my soda water, and the relief from the jaw clenching was incredible. I’ve been drinking pink pepper oil in my soda water ever since – it has been a good couple of months now and it has solved the jaw clenching for me.

Those of you who have been reading the blog for a while know I don’t have much in the way of glass in the house because I tend to be very good at breaking it. However oils are best consumed from glass. So now I have some of these mason glass jam jars –

I like to add a drop of tangerine as well some days, just to give a touch of citrus.

The bottom line is, our individual mileage may vary on things like this. When I find something that works for me – whether it be a medication or a natural remedy – I’m going to make use of it. Even if it sounds wickety wack crazy. :)

aromatherapy, health

Gone Casual

JayJays have a great range of tie dye t-shirts with good length sleeves. I mostly buy the mens ones.

I don’t know about you, but in these COVID times it is rare for us to venture outside the house at all. We stopped doing home deliveries for people in September of 2020. We have not done a trip up to Sydney or down the coast since then.

If we do go somewhere together it will usually be Aldi or Bunnings, but we usually do it after 6pm when most people have gone home. It is so rare for the two of us to go out together, most times when we come back I manage to set off the house alarm because I forget it is on.

We used to do the shopping together but for the last 6 months before the current outbreak only one of us would go. It would usually be me.

The furthest I can recall us going together in the past month was to the local rubbish dump to recycle cardboard.

On the majority of days, I never put on a pair of shoes at all. Because I struggle with cold feet in the house I wear socks with those sherpa lined slipper socks over the top. I have many many pairs of these JayJays tie dyed socks in a vast array of colours. I have been collecting them for months now. The guy in the shop knows me well enough by now to point out the new designs which have arrived when I walk in.

For some reason wearing socks makes people ask me if I want them to take their shoes off when they arrive here to shop. No, its ok! I just don’t wear shoes inside the house, it is fine for you to wear them.

I often wear a beanie inside the house during winter as well. I like to be warm and cosy but I don’t like to pay huge heating bills. So anything that I can do to keep myself warmer, I will do it.

Are you noticing a bit of a theme here? I’m obsessed with tie dye right now. I probably have 35 different tie dyed t-shirts in the cupboard and those are the only clothes in rotation presently.

I have not worn a pair of earrings, a bracelet, or rings since March 2020. That does make me a bit sad. I think I should make an effort to get back into wearing jewellery.

Overall, it is all casual wear all the time here. I can’t see it changing anytime soon, either.

In good news, finally yesterday I was on the website at the right moment to score a cancellation vaccination appointment. I had my first Pfizer vaccination today.

What are you wearing, in these interesting times?

Fashion, Uncategorized

Half A Job, Snoskred

One of the problems with being accessible to other people is the constant interruptions they can provide. If I lived in a cave without a mobile phone or laptop and could focus in purely on tasks that need completing I can only imagine the huge levels of shiznit I could get done in a day.

But I do not live in a cave. I live in the world. And we all struggle with interruptions these days, don’t we? I hope so, I hope it is not just me. But for me interruptions cause a specific problem – the half done job.

I’ll give you a specific example so this makes better sense. Every piece of stock in our workplace has a home, and if we take the extra moment to put it back home when we’re done with it, we’ll know where it is the next time we need it.

Most of our stock has two parts – the canvas, and the kit. The kit contains vital sparkly parts without which the canvas cannot be completed. All our kits are put away in alphabetical order into storage compartments, like this –

One day a customer had asked me to show them the sparkly parts of a kit. It was the last one we had in stock. I went and grabbed it, showed it to them, and then they chose to buy something else. So the sparkly parts got put down somewhere. When someone else wanted to buy that kit, I couldn’t find the sparkly parts and for the life of me I could not remember what I had done with them.

Whenever I can’t find the sparkly parts, I search for a while hoping I will find it. After a bit I get frustrated and even though I know I am going to be mocked and snarked endlessly I ask The Other Half for help. And he always says “Half a job”. And the worst part is he is right.

Eventually we did find that missing part sitting on top of the mailing bench but it took far more time than it should have – and this was not the first time it had happened.

I don’t always have time in the moment to consider the future time when I will be looking for this thing. I need to deal with the customer who is here on the spot and I don’t want to stop and think about putting things back in their home in that exact moment. But I also needed a new plan. And thus, the no half measures box was born. Can you see it in the photo above?

In Breaking Bad, Mike tells a story of a time he took a half measure.

Mike tells Walt a story from his time as a police officer, when he confronted a chronic wife abuser . Mike intervened, and almost killed the wife-beater, but gave in when the abuser promised to change his ways. Shortly thereafter the man beat his wife to death. Mike’s mistake was to take a half measure when he should have taken a full one. “No more half measures, Walter,” he says.

from the Breaking Bad Wiki.

Out of all the characters in Breaking Bad, Mike is one of my favourites. And now Mike sits on the mailing bench reminding me never to do half a job – this box is where things go in the moment when I don’t have the time to put them back where they belong – and every so often when I have the time I can go through it and put things back where they live.

The fish tank is a story for another post. :)

work