Taking Stock: November

Hello lovely people,

In the creative footsteps of blogger, author, teacher, crafter and all round nice lady Pip Lincolne, it’s time to take stock: 

Making myself comfy on the couch. 

Cooking eggplant bacon. There’s a batch in the oven right now!


Drinking coffee. This morning’s crema reminded me of constellations. 

Reading books about heart failure and the Mediterranean diet, so I can better understand and manage my health. 

Wanting to keep up my new habit of walking for my health. 

Looking up. The sky is my shield and comfort. 

Playing the new Taylor Swift album. I am loving the evolution of her musicianship.  

Deciding what I’m going to eat this week. Organisation is key to my low salt life. 

Wishing it was a long weekend. I love them. 

Enjoying pulling on my leafy leggings and sneaks and going for a walk, mostly. We’ll see if I make it out there today. 

Waiting for summer holidays. 

Liking myself, my family, my heart shield, this life. 

Wondering about how I might feel if I need to get a pacemaker. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. 

Loving the encouraging, supportive, generous, big hearted people in my life. You’re my oxygen. 

Pondering why I’m not blogging, sketching or painting much lately. 

Considering leaning more heavily into a Mediterranean style of eating. Bring on the ancient grains and pomegranates. 

Buying a new vacuum cleaner online. It’s a glamorous life!! 

Watching Bar Rescue, lots of Jamie Oliver, clouds. 

Hoping to continue feeling and being as well as I can. Combining that hope with everyday action is the key. 

Marvelling at the power of encouraging words. I know how much I need them, and need to give them. 

Cringing at the coarse vanity and stupidity of politicians, clinging to power by any means possible. Their inhumanity to those they perceive as unimportant to their cause is endlessly staggering. 

Needing to keep on keeping on, and get rid of some stuff. Less is better. 

Questioning why I felt such shame around being prescribed antidepressants. Stigma sucks. 

Smelling eggplant bacon.

Wearing my pjs. Comfort rules on the weekends, heck, comfort always always rules. 

Following my heart’s lead; inspiring people; a slow road. 

Noticing how vividly green the trees are against the sky. 

Knowing everything is cyclical. 

Thinking of ways to find balance. 

Admiring people who accept, embrace and celebrate themselves. Coming home to yourself is the ultimate pilgrimage. Are you on that road? I hope so. 

Getting philosophical. It always happens when I take stock, which is why it’s such a worthwhile practice. 

Book borrowing and buying. I want to spend more time reading. 

Coveting nothing. I don’t need more than I have. 

Disliking having to think about how much I drink every day, whether I’ve taken my tablets, and all that jazz. 

Opening myself to new ways of thinking and being. 

Feeling good. Life has challenges and great beauty. It is a privilege to be here. 

Snacking on hummus again. I finally found a great low sodium recipe! 

Hearing Taylor Swift sing, and feeling relaxed. 

That’s the state of play in my world. Reflecting on where we’re at, what we want and who we are is such a valuable way to check in with what truly matters. I highly recommend it! 

If you’d like to take stock, just copy and paste this list to your Facebook page/journal/blog or use the prompts in your creative practice. 

Making :
Cooking :
Drinking :

Take care of yourselves, and each other. 

Annette x 

Whoop & Holler

Blood test. Blue skies. Dappled light. Colour. Drugs. Bed. 

That about sums up my week. 

It seems I may have whooping cough, the tests haven’t been conclusive so far. Aside from all of the coughing and snuffling and wheezing and aggravation, aside from keeping an eagle eye out for pregnant ladies and small babies when I’ve dashed to the supermarket, or waited for prescriptions in the chemist, it has been a week of surrendering to whatever lurgy is lurking in my respiratory system. 

Much as I would have loved not to have coughed so hard that I gave myself a thumping headache for several days running, I’m not that powerful. None of us are. We mostly go through life thinking we are in control, but we aren’t really.

What I have felt this week is incredibly grateful to be able to see a doctor and pick up prescriptions with ease. 

When I needed a blood test, then a nasal swab (eeeew!) I just popped upstairs from the doctor’s office and was in and out in a matter of minutes. Yes, going to the doctor twice in a week was expensive, especially as I’m not working, but my Medicare rebate was in my bank account before I got home from the doctor, and when my mum dropped some cans of soup off for me earlier in the week (keeping her distance!), she kindly gave me enough cash to cover one doctor’s visit outright. Thanks mum. 

By Thursday I was suffering cabin fever, and the weather was so beautiful that I went for a leisurely drive in the hills. 

I swear if you hooked me up to monitors, you’d see the instantaneous, relaxing impact that turning off the highway and driving under the canopy of tall trees and lush ferns has on me, aahhhhhh it’s palpable. 

So, even though I am feeling pretty shithouse at times, I also feel deeply appreciative of all that I have around me. 

I appreciate the colours and crunch of toast smeared with Vegemite and avocado, a tall glass of orange juice, the crisp joy of fresh sheets, and the way my small blue chopping board complements the discarded shell of the avocado I’ve just enjoyed. 

I appreciate messages from friends and good wishes and online banter. 

I appreciate that I can sketch and paint whenever I want to, and observe beauty all around me. 

I appreciate this blog, where I can share things and make connections with fantastic people. 

Life is good. 

I hope you’re not whooping like I am, but more than that, even if it’s done quietly, I really hope that you have something to holler about today. 

Keep looking up friends, the sky has us covered. 


Annette xx 



Blue skies and gutters

Some days are kinda crazy making aren’t they? 

Demanding bosses, deadlines, kids to feed and ferry about, traffic jams, spreadsheets that freeze, unexpected bills or just “wrong side of the bed” days… nobody is immune to these, much as we might wish to be. 

Yesterday was a crap day for me. Stressful, tiring, and aggravating. I cried in the car on the way home. I felt, in that moment, just FED UP with things, not massive life-altering things, but just annoying, joy-sapping, nipping at my heels stuff. 

Ugh. I bore myself even typing that, but as the great sage once said – shit happens. 

What to do? 

Well last night, I applied a raft of balms – tears, KFC, chocolate, and a bit of in-car ranting and swearing. 

Later in the evening I applied creativity, which is much better for me. 

Today was better, but those niggling things are still there, stridently demanding my attention. It’s so easy for those things to take up my whole filed of vision. I’m not the only one that happens to, right? 

As I got out of my car this afternoon, I looked up. 


That’s the answer some days, isn’t it? 

Look up. 

We are all under this vast blue sky – all of us, whether we’re having a run of the mill day, a moderately challenging day or a great day. We are all the same. All under the same sky, even if it isn’t blue where you are. 

So, look up. 

Then start counting. 

It’s something I try and do often – count my blessings. I know that this can seem super-trite in the face of genuinely ongoing shit times, sad times, times of loss and illness, so I’m not at all comparing a shit day at work with those things. Not at all. 

I just wanted to share what struck me today when I looked up at that amazing blue sky, and then grabbed my camera and took this photo. 

There’s this awe inspiring sky… so vast and such a delightful shade of blue, there are fluffy clouds and there’s the edge of my house and some manky guttering and rotting wood. 

What’s going to be the focus? I get to choose that. We all do. 

I could crop the gutter out of the shot, showing only blue sky, but that’s not the whole picture. 

I could crop out the sky and focus on this poorly maintained corner of my house – which reminds me that the walls feel wet after it rains and the plaster is breaking at the seams. Again, not the whole picture. 

It’s both, just like life.  Blue skies and gutters.  

Which do you see? 

Which will you choose? 

What we see, and what we choose to focus on, is so important. 

I hope you choose the sky. 

I do. 


Annette x