I've found my one little word!

Each year, I seem to land on a word that will be my guiding light, in the weeks leading up to the approaching new year, this year was different. No word came to me. Instead, I was thinking about Goals and how, best to manage commitments I already had; things I wanted to learn; things I have to do; being present and focused.
As I thought about these things one word kept repeating in my brain.

With that in mind, I have started online by:-
Deleting my Facebook 'Fan' Page once and for all.
Reducing the number of people who are my Facebook 'friends'.
Reducing the number of Facebook Groups I am in.
Reducing the number of Facebook business I 'like.'
Tidying up my Bloglovin follow list to the blogs I truly enjoy reading, the ones that inspire me and the ones that mirror my values and life goals.
Reducing the number of people I follow on Instagram.
Deleting the majority of Businesses and manufacturers, I follow on Instagram.
I am also hitting the unsubscribe link on a lot of newsletters and business marketing/advertising emails,

So many online places, people and things that added to my mental 'to do' list but that I would never realistically actually get to engage with. The businesses promoting their new products and the groups feeding the must have, want/need, of the new fandangled product/service which I could certainly have lived without had I never seen it, or known it existed!

I find myself often consciously thinking about who and what I want to engage with and what my limits of engagement realistically are. Why waste time/energy/emotion engaging in something that does not add Value to my life? Why not engage fully and give my attention to the activities and people that do add Value and are of Value to me?

This is for me.

 This year I decided on some goals. Some goals that are just all about and for me. Not my home, not my family ... me. Usually, I would consider that to be selfish but in seeking simplicity some of these things occurred to me as smart, beneficial, money saving, enjoyment creating options.
One of these was to learn how to use my Camera in manual and get to know its capabilities better.

Now instead of pointing and shooting I'm learning that I can tell my camera not to wash out the early morning sky, that by changing my depth of field I can add the clarity of the weeping willow across the roofline, show the true colour of the foreground tree and capture the gorgeous blue of the sky, as well.

I'm doing an online course by 'Click, love, grow ' and so far we have had lessons on composition and various types of light. These interactions however have encouraged me to already start turning dials and changing settings. Making this number higher and that lower until I can capture the detail I want, in the light I am given outside.

I'm enjoying it immensely and so excited about the coming lessons and possibilities this experience could open up for me. As someone who is anxious I do not tend to press buttons if I don't know what they will do ... ( what if I break it?!!) The experimentation process is so enjoyable with that safety net of a group, having experienced people and other learners there to answer questions if any pop up. I've noticed I'm not sharing as much on Instagram lately as I am out there taking photos and playing with my real camera most days, feeling very empowered by what I am learning to do.

Make a Homework Caddy!

In my quest for organisation I somewhere along the line stumbled across the idea of a homework caddy. This struck a chord with me as something that might make homework more fun and eliminate any excuses not to do it at our house.

My Daughter wavers in her dedication to completing homework and getting my son to do homework ... well lets just say its is not a task I have enjoyed. We will have both Children at the same School this year so their homework cycles should coincide more closely, making it easier for me to carve out a schedule for afternoons to dedicate to the tasks assigned.

I got this Bamboo table caddy from Aldi last week it was $9.99 and is of solid construction,  Very plain and simple I knew it would suit my purpose quite well. I spend another $10.00 on markers, pencil sharpeners, Rulers and Scissors. I already had pencils set aside that I purchased earlier in the year and some lead pencils I had already set up in a jar. My hope is that having these supplies set aside exclusively for use on homework will encourage and cultivate a nice homework culture here.

I've seen caddy's made with recycled cans, cardboard boxes, plastic tubs, wicker baskets, wire baskets and goodness knows what else. I finished off our caddy by decorating it with a couple of lengths of Cute Deco tape. You can get Deco tape at a lot of the 'My Value' type stores for about $2.00 a roll.
Happy Crafting :)

Crochet Hexagon Blanket - Update

 Do you remember this blanket? If not I don't blame you, it has been a long time between updates!

I started this Crochet Hexagon Blanket in January last year, it was my 2014 mood blanket. I guess its just my Crochet hexagon blanket now. The only mood that ever really governed it was what colour I felt like using at any given time. I didn't assign a colour to an emotion as many of the 2014 participants did, so it wasn't ever technically a mood blanket, in the strictest sense.

Its only slightly bigger than it was in my last update, has been set aside for quite a while. I've taken quite a long break from working with yarn. I think the onset of the warmer days, arrival of the Puppy and consideration of my priorities drastically reduced the amount of time I was spending with my hook ... until it petered away to none. 

As a part of the de-clutter/Clean/Organise process I've undertaken in recent weeks, I looked at the little pile of hexagons I'd sporadically worked up and decided to attach what I had to the existing blanket, that would, after all be putting them away. 

Ah the therapeutic experience of working the needle and thread through the back loops in seaming, Oh! the rhythmic repetition of hook in hand ... My friends, I've missed you and the relaxing sense of purpose you bring.

Asian Cup Soccer - Korea v Oman

 An unusual Family outing for us on Saturday afternoon. Through the traffic and rain to watch a couple of international teams play soccer at our local Stadium with 12,500 other people.

We are not really a sports oriented couple but both appreciate the atmosphere of any live event filled with fans. Soccer being a sport we are all vaguely familiar with, through my Sons skills training lesson over the past years, seemed like a good, easy option for our initial foray into the live sports experience. We did not plan for or consider rain when I purchased the tickets in December.

Despite the rain most of us enjoyed the game. Hated the traffic and appreciated the experience. We missed the start despite leaving early, we were not the only ones. The traffic to the event was very heavy and we had to park a LONG way away. My Miss, who was not really enthusiastic to begin with was even less pleased once she realised that we planned to not let the rain deter us. She had asked "But what if it's still raining" and I got scowled at when I replied "we will get wet"

We sat behind the goal Oman were kicking to in the second half which was great as there were a few 'Oh so close' attempts at goal. I don't exactly recollect what was happening in the picture above and I'm not sure if I took it or if one of the Children did. I love the expression on the umpires face! So that, lovely reader, is how we spent our Saturday afternoon. Something a little different.

You can read more about the Asian cup, games and teams on the official website.

Koalas at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

On Friday I took the Kids to Tidbinbilla. First port of call, as always, was the eucalypt Forrest to see if we could spot any Koalas. 

 a Sleeping Koala one log between his legs and his paws holding it as he reclines supported by a second branch along his spine

Temperature was up in the mid 30's that day and when we arrived all 4 in the enclosed area were visible, this one in particular adopting what I thought was an unusual posture but it made sense on this hot day. We headed out on the easy trail and did see one of the 12 out in the Forrest environment created for them. It was reclining in a similar fashion with a wider branch under its Butt, leaning against the tree trunk. It blended in so well and was up too high for me to get a respectable picture of. Its always a thrill to spot one out in the Forrest. Though its a fenced area they are free to roam where they want within it and you may not even see one when you are on the path as it extends beyond the area covered by the trail. There are also Wombats, Echidnas and wallabies roaming around in there and plenty of birds.

 a tiny spray of pink wild flowers and bright green native grass

After that we decided to try the cascade trail, we hadn't walked that one before, described as A great walk to escape from the heat or explore on a cool wet day, this picturesque walk climbs and winds through the wet forest and meets a cascading mountain stream" We thought this would be perfect when we were in hot midday sun.

Whilst it was a lovely walk and certainly much cooler than what we were when visiting the Koalas it was on the tough side for me, 1.8km and described as moderate. Oh the hills! I may have handled it with a little more ease had it not been so very hot already but on this day I had to take a lot of pauses in heavily shaded areas. This really made me consider my current fitness level. That said we still got up and around it in just under an hour and hearing the trickling, gurgling stream was lovely.

 looking back up a flight of natural stone stairs all covered with moss and rain forest type leaf litter

That was our first Summer trip to Tidbinbilla! We have been in Autumn and Spring and I do hope to make it out there at least one more time these holidays.

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