A Trio of Firsts

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Today is Monday, the first day of the working week.  It is also the first day of June and, here in Australia, the official first day of winter.

It is almost like a new year.  While most people restrict their attempts at resolutions to a new calendar year on the first of January, there are plenty of other opportunities to turn over a new leaf if you choose to look for them.  However, the midst of an ongoing global pandemic may not be the best time to consider starting afresh.  Or, perhaps it is.

I am thinking of ruling a line under the past few months and moving forward.

For almost 3 weeks I have added a blog post every day.  I have never made daily posts for an extended period previously and I have been writing this blog for over 9 years now.  It has been an experiment on several levels.  Could I maintain this level of engagement consistently now that I am retired?  Does self-isolation (mostly) make it easier to write blog posts every day?  Do I want to lock myself into writing every day?  Will I always have appropriate new content every day?  Are readers looking for new content every day?  Could I intersperse blog posts every 2-3 days with Instagram posts on a specific Organised Castle Instagram account?

Dear readers, I am really keen to hear your thoughts on the frequency, length, content and photos of my blog posts.  Also, do you go back and look at older material or click on the related links I sometimes provide?  I look forward to your honest thoughts and opinions.

Meanwhile, I am about to prepare the vegetables for dinner.  We are having one of our favourite cool weather meals – roast vegetables and gravy which I will serve with some green beans from the garden.

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While the oven is on, I will also make a Lemon Delicious and some more Cheese Scones to store in the freezer.  These are great for serving with a bowl of piping hot soup.

Winter Warmer

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We live in a temperate, sub-tropical area with relatively mild winters but that doesn’t mean that we do not need some warmer clothes for about 4 months of the year.

I try to predominately buy secondhand clothes and today was no exception.  We were in our local town and I popped into the Salvos thrift shop to see what was on offer.

I found this pullover which is completely devoid of labels.  I do not know the brand, size, origin or type of fabric.  However, for the princely sum of $5 it came home with me as it fitted and I love the colour.

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It may be too short on some people but is perfect for me.  I really like the fact that it does not have bands on the sleeves or the lower edge.

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I will not be pairing it with the green patterned jeans which I happened to be wearing today.

This piece will fit nicely into my smallish wardrobe.  I will team it with either black or dark denim jeans and one of my collared shirts or alternatively with a patterned scarf.  I will just need to find something suitable.

 

 

Winter Beds

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Although we live in a temperate sub-tropical zone, there are still distinct seasonal variations and we respond accordingly.

Two nights ago we experienced our first cold (for us) night when the temperature dropped to 6C (43F).

The prospect of this temperature was enough to convince me that the very lightweight summer doona would not be sufficient.  I retrieved the feather doona from the wardrobe in the spare room.  For me, it is not only about the physical warmth of the feather doona but the colours I use which reflect the cooler weather.

During the summer the bed is made up using light blue and white bed linen and I love the fresh, cool effect that this brings.

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Although the fabric is no heavier, the darker coloured linen makes the room feel cosier as the weather cools.  I changed the bed yesterday and substituted the winter bedding.

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My bed was not the only one that noticed the effects of the cold night.

The cucumbers were planted late in the summer but we had been fortunate to have a great harvest.  However, overnight the vine went from being lush and green to looking quite shrivelled in parts.  It does not like the cold nor the accompanying strong westerly winds.

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With the prospect of several subsequent cold nights, I decided to remove all of the mature cucumbers and clear out the vine.

The haul was surprisingly large.

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The vine and trellis are now removed so it is time to clear the weeds and prepare the bed for a cool season crop.

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What heralds the change of seasons at your place?

End of Financial Year

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It is almost the end of June and here in Australia that means it is the end of the financial year.  It is tax time and a busy time for many businesses.  My workload is a bit more than usual this week and it has been compounded by the fact that I was out of the office for 3 days last week at a conference.

So, there is not much time for taking photos or doing anything worthy of a blog post.

While I am busy at work you can enjoy these couple of photos from last week.  It is winter here at the moment but you would not know it.

Some of the accommodation at the resort where we stayed for the conference.

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Sunrise at Noosa beach on the shortest day of the year.

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A friend took the sunrise photo and yes, the speck in the water is me.  The morning was cool but the water was beautiful.  Such a refreshing start to the day.

Don’t forget that it is almost July so it is time for another round of ‘Plastic Free July’.  My blog posts for the month will reflect that theme and focus on our commitment to eliminate single use plastic items as much as possible.  Will you join me in trying to make a difference?

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Winter Morning

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Yesterday morning I walked along the verandah.  It was sunny but quite cool and this was the vision that greeted me.

002One of the newer hibiscus shrubs which has only been in the ground for about a month and there were half a dozen bright pink flowers.  I am hoping this is a preview of things to come as these shrubs grow and we have a mass of dense foliage and brilliant flowers in front of the verandah.

A Curve Ball

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Well, hello!  I expect you have been wondering about my disappearance.

2015-06-21 01The past 8 days since I last posted have been more than just busy.  My mind has been totally consumed by other issues and I have not even considered blogging.

My mother underwent open heart surgery 6 days ago and is now recovering.  She is progressing well and I will be back with more everyday tales soon.

It is a cool, crisp day here on the winter solstice.  How about at your place?  Are you in the northern hemisphere and enjoying warm days and the long evening twilight?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Seasonal Jobs

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Summer is gone and today was a sign of things to come.  Although many of you would scoff at our version of winter it is a clear contrast to our hot, wet summers.

Winter is heralded by cool clear days, cooler nights and a biting westerly wind which can make the apparent temperature seem much less.

Autumn foliageThe leaves have turned and are falling so it was time to gather some firewood as our wood-burner is the only form of heating we have in this house.

We retrieved the dry logs from the woodshed.  These were leftovers from last season.

002This box is right beside the door that leads upstairs.

003And some more under the house.

We are now ready for when we decide to light the fire.

FireplaceGMan has chopped another pile that was by the bottom gate and these are now stacked in the shed to dry out.

Split & Stacked

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Today The Duke split some more firewood and I stacked it.  This is the perfect time of the year for this kind of job as the weather is pleasant during the day and we have had no rain for about a month so the wood is really dry.

Here it is all stacked along the side of the woodshed.  This is in addition to the stack that we have under the house.  We do not use a lot of wood so this will be a good start on our supply for next winter.  It is a great feeling to know that what we are doing know will keep us warm next year.

Do you do any seasonal preparation ahead of time?