Thursday 30 December 2021

My digital bullet journal set-up and some flowers

Firstly, I want to say thank you all for the caring messages regarding my Mum. She is still in horrible pain but they are trying different medications to see if they may help.  

I did end up having a lovely Christmas with three of my sons. Quiet but nice.
My potted Frangipani is in bloom, known as Plumeria to some. I'm still waiting for the 2 I have in the backyard garden to bloom.

Also my potted Canna Lily. The flowers are very fragile and, this particular day, I was in love with how the sun shone through the petals so had to snap a pic.

Canna Lilies are also known for their spectacular leaves. The leaves on mine are not as spectacular as other varieties because this one is the dark leafed variety - Tropicanna Black
With the new year approaching, I have been busy setting up my bullet journals for 2022. I keep an paper AND a digital bullet journal. I've shown my paper journal before. If you didn't see it, you can check that post HERE. I love working with both. I usually work month to month in my bullets. What I write in one, gets updated in the other.

I don't carry my paper bullet journal with me as it would add to the weight. I'm one of those people who carry everything but the kitchen sink. I usually have a small cross-body bag for wallet, phone, keys, and sanitiser, as well as, a tote for utensils, small torch, multi-gadget tool, tissues, wipes, etc...well, you just never know if I'll need them. On top of that, I also carry a couple of sketchbooks, pencils, pens, etc. in my tote so as you can guess, space and weight are an issue. With my Digital Bullet, I love that I can access all my bullets from my phone, no extra weight at all. I can even use the Search feature to look for something specific.

Anyway, I thought you might like to see some screenshots of how I set up my Digital Bullet Journal. I used Tables in OneNote where I created Templates for different spreads/collections which I can then copy and paste over into a new month. All I need to do is add the dates which are done in a jiffy.
As with the paper Bullet Journal, I also use a Key for my Digital Bullet. 

Below are the Annual Sections. I password-protect my journals hence the little lock. I love that I can access any of my bullet journals, anywhere, any time.

If I click on TEMPLATES, you will see all the Spreads I can utilise. These are the blanks that I created using the Tables function in Microsoft OneNote. Each month, I just copy and paste them where needed. The beauty of Tables is that I can add or remove columns/rows easily.  
(NOTE - You can click on any image to see a larger view of them all)
An expanded view of December with Monthly and Weekly sections

This is the Month Template view. I add the dates for the new month when I paste it over. Easy-peasy.

Below is the December month view where I can add more as needed. The Teal and Orange highlighted days let me know at a glance which week we put 1 or 2 wheelie bins down at the roadside for collection. Believe me, it's so easy to forget. Orange = 2 bins; Teal = 1 bin.

And the weekly Template view 
Dates added and the weekly spread is in it's place and ready for filling in each day.

You will notice I use Dark mode for my digital bullet journal as it's less strain on the eyes. I love Dark mode and use it everywhere I can, including my Social media apps. However, if I wanted to, I could easily switch to Light mode with the touch of a button in Options. Below is an example of a Weekly spread filled-in, after selecting Light mode.

I also use a Brain Dump spread for the year, rather than monthly. I like that I can see the whole year at a glance. This is where I quickly note anything of interest to me throughout the month that I don't want to forget. An example below. The highlighted text is for art-related notes. 
I also have a Future Log which most Bullet Journal users will be familiar with. Basically, it's where I place future appointments, events, To-do's, that are not yet active. 
Those are pretty much my main Bullet Journal sections and then I have the Collections which are different for everyone.
My Book Log for 2022 at the ready

Part of this year's Book Log

I donate throughout the year, mostly to animal sanctuaries, so I felt it warranted a Collection too. 
A partial screenshot from this year.

And set up and ready for next year

Trackers are a big thing with lots of Bullet Journal users. I did create one of those too using Tables in OneNote. I must admit that, with all my back and hand issues this past year, I gave up on filling it in. Maybe I will be better at it in 2022. I just copy and paste this Template into a given month to start tracking my habits by ticking the boxes.

And the same Habit Tracker in Light mode view

(remember to click on any image to see a larger view of them all)
And that ends this very long post. If you managed to read it all the way to the end...thank you. I understand Bullet Journals aren't for everyone but I sure do love mine and have been keeping the analogue version since 2015. 

This will be my last post for the year so I hope you all enjoy a great New Year's Eve whatever you do. Let's hope 2022 will be a better year for all.
As with our usual New Year's Eve tradition, I will be partying and staying up to welcome in 2022 with three of my sons. Not sure if I will be staying awake the whole night to greet the dawn like Bradley (son) and I normally do...but we shall see.

See you in 2022! 

Love, Light and Peace to All!

Saturday 25 December 2021

merry christmas/happy holidays!

 Merry Christmas or
Happy Holidays to all...
It's currently 5:30am on Christmas Day and I'm the only one up. Aaron and Bradley (sons) are still in their beds. My other son, Beau, will be here for a vegan Christmas lunch later so I thought I'd hop on and blog before I get stuck into food prep and cooking. A big day ahead...
It's hard to get into the Christmas spirit this year.
I'd actually written a paragraph and deleted it because it was quite sad and melancholy.

I will just say that my thoughts today are with those who have lost family members, including beloved pets. Also those separated from family for whatever reason, the homeless, the sick and dying, the poor and suffering, the stray animals on the streets, the animals in slaughterhouses...the list goes on...

I wish for a happier, more peaceful, more caring and loving world for ALL!

May your Christmas be special and filled with happiness and love! 

Love, Light and Peace to All!

Friday 24 December 2021

dusting off the cobwebs — again!

So it's been three months since my last post which is pretty dismal considering all my plans to post more frequently. I have lots of excuses but there are two main ones. 

Firstly, not long after my last post, I woke up one morning and as I walked down the hall, I felt a clunk inside somewhere between my lower back and right hip. It stopped me dead in my tracks for a few minutes. From that point, my back pain worsened to the point of being debilitated. It was the type of pain that made it hard to focus on anything at all. I dreaded getting up or down as the pain was so severe. As my last CT scan had been 3 years ago, my doctor ordered another CT scan on my back which revealed severe multi-level disc degeneration (Osteoarthritis), substantial changes in facet joints in my mid to lower spine, narrowing of the spinal column (Canal Stenosis), and Spondylolisthesis (Slipping Discs). The Canal Stenosis is particularly worrying to me. My doctor wants me to see a Spinal specialist in the new year. Wish me luck.

Secondly, towards the end of October, my 86 year old Mum ended up hurting her back again.
 Photo taken of Mum in 2016

Three years ago, Mum fractured two of her vertebrae and recovered as well as could be expected with Osteoporosis. Mum was very stubborn though and felt she was okay to do all the heavy stuff again.  She ignored all our warnings, even doctors' warnings, and continued to do heavy stuff that she should not have been doing at all. Every time we visited, her lounge room furniture was changed around. I'm talking heavy recliners and solid pine tables, not to mention yard work.
Mum's back did get sore but she ignored it until it finally gave in and demanded her full attention. CT scans revealed that Mum had basically been crumbling her lower back away. One of the vertebrae had lost 75% in height, the others are badly worn down too, hence all her pain. The bad news is that her back will not recover and will gradually get worse. With Osteoporosis, there really isn't anything they can do except manage her pain.
It was clear that Mum needed assisted care so, the only decision that could be made was for Mum to go straight from the stay in hospital to a Permanent Aged Care facility where all her medical and care needs would be met. Mum is angry at herself and deeply regrets not listening to all our warnings. She misses her home and her little dog, Teenie, who is now with me. That said, she has come to terms with her situation and understands it is necessary.

[ Added next day — I should clarify that Mum was a big part of the decision-making process regarding her going into Assisted Care. She was actually afraid to go back home and said she knew she could no longer cope alone. She needs daily medical assistance, unfortunately. Despite that, it was a big change for her and she still had to come to terms with it all. They allow pets to visit the Assisted Care Home but Mum hasn't wanted Teenie to visit as yet. Mum misses her but wants what is best for Teenie. More on Teenie in a later post. Mum admitted that she was having trouble caring for Teenie properly prior to her recent back injury. She is so happy that I have Teenie and it has given her peace of mind in that regard.

My sister takes her dog in to visit with Mum and Aaron, my son, took his little dog in the other day. I think, in some ways, even though Mum misses Teenie, she is relieved not to have the responsibility for caring for her any more. ]

Teenie is 10 years old, a Pomeranian, and adorable! She already knew us so has settled in very well.
After a few weeks, Mum's back seemed to be doing a little better where she was able to move about with a walker. although she was still reliant on regular pain medication. Just over a week ago, Mum injured her back even more when she participated in a group activity which involved dancing to Christmas songs. She had fun but overdid the dancing and is now in agony and being given stronger pain medication (Opioids). It's been very hard to see her in so much pain. It's like she is back to the pain severity of when she fractured her back.

As you can imagine, it's been an emotional roller-coaster ride for me regarding my Mum and also dealing with my own back plus hand pain issues. I keep praying for Mum's pain to ease while she screams out for God to take her. It's been bloody hard I can tell you but I keep hoping she will improve.

Taking all of the above into account, on top of daily responsibilities, I haven't felt like posting.


Have I been doing any sketching? Barely!
Back in October, I did manage a rough, incomplete, pencil sketch of Aaron's miniature poodle., Scarlett. I will be doing an acrylic painting of her soon.
My Kindle has been my best friend over the past few months. I met my Goodreads annual Reading Challenge. I elected to read 40 books for 2021 and exceeded that. Currently, I'm at 46 books. YAY!

Sorry if this post has seemed like a bit of a downer but that has been my life of late.

Things are also getting scary as our Government opened our State and International borders a couple of weeks ago and our Covid case numbers have risen dramatically. I can't wait to get our 3rd booster. We wear our masks whenever we're out in public and sanitise regularly. How are things in your area re. Covid?

I will be back tomorrow with a Christmas post as it's already Christmas Eve here. I hope you are all keeping safe and well. I hope to get around to visit you all very soon.

Love, Light and Peace

Tuesday 21 September 2021

A day trip and a catch up

 Another month has passed so time for a catch up...
Hopefully, I will do better than one post a month but it's a start to getting back to my blog on a regular basis. 
Covid news - It looks like masks are here to stay for quite a while yet but I don't mind. If they help even a little, I'm happy to wear them despite Brad and I being asthmatics. That said, it's always a relief to get back to the car and remove the masks.
Queensland continues to do well as far as Covid stats go. We haven't had a serious outbreak since the Delta variant hit and daily cases are less that 5, mostly 1 or 0. I hope it remains that way. My heart goes out to New South Wales and Victoria which aren't doing so well but, hopefully, they will get it under control soon.
Bradley (son) is now fully vaccinated and I get my second Astra-Zeneca early October. My other sons are also part-vaccinated and due to get their second jabs in a month or so. Some employers are already adding 'Covid Vaccination Required' on their job criteria. The vaccinated are also going to be given extra privileges that unvaccinated won't have. Only this past week, a couple of top Cardiologists in one of our southern states had to go into 2 weeks isolation because an unvaccinated theatre nurse was diagnosed with Covid. Some heart patients were awaiting critical surgeries that had to be postponed. I really feel for them. One of the reasons why vaccination is so important. Covid has brought about a new way of life which will be here to stay for a while yet. 

Speaking of heart surgeries, my youngest brother Wayne had open heart surgery a couple of weeks back and is now at home recovering. The first 48 hours after surgery were horrible for him...immense pain. He is doing well now although had an erratic pulse a couple of times that needed medical attention. Apparently this can be expected after heart surgery. It will take 12 weeks for him to be fully recovered.
I was very saddened recently to hear that a long-time art friend, Tracey Fletcher King, lost her 8 year battle with breast cancer on August 21st.  Tracey lived at the bay-side and, although we never did get around to meeting in person, we followed each other via our blog posts, Instagram, and occasional emails. She had a great sense of humour and never failed to make me laugh. I loved her art too. She will be dearly missed and my heart goes out to her family. xx

Kya is not a fan of me sitting at my art/work desk. Here she is sitting on top of my bullet journal as if to try and stop me from focusing on things other than her. lol I don't know how this will work when I get serious about painting again. 
In the older photo below she is not asking for a belly scratch but more daring me to try. Cunning little Miss.

A couple of weeks back, we had another family outing. 
This time to Wellington Point at the bay-side. 

I love the bay-side!

It was a glorious day! 

And I got to see pelicans....which I LOVE!     

We found a lovely spot with dappled shade

Part of the view from our spot. 
Ibis came to visit.
I really love the play of lights and darks in this pic.

Bradley (eldest son)

Aaron (youngest son) with his doggies

I must remember to get a group selfie next time. 

I recently watched a Netflix documentary on Bob Ross. Have you seen it? I know Bob Ross was huge in the art world over in the States but I have to say that I'd barely heard of him here in Australia. I knew of him mostly through American art magazines. Those Kowalskis seem like a nasty piece of work, don't they?!  Yes, they helped Bob Ross to become famous in the art world but they pretty much controlled him, even pushing him to work when he was sick and dying of cancer. They then bullied people into signing over the Bob Ross name to them after he died...not what he wanted at all. They pretty much stole all rights away from Bob Ross' son when it was clear that Bob wanted his son to have his name, rights, and money. Such a sad story of greed and betrayal.  
On a happier note, the Plovers are nesting and, this year, I hope their babies survive. Ever hopeful. 

The warmer weather is here to stay now. Not looking forward to the summer heat and humidity. 

Stay tuned for another post soon...

Love, Light and Peace

Wednesday 11 August 2021

a day trip and some general natter

WOW! Where did July go?! 
As much as I love winters here, this winter sure has messed around with my asthma, as well as me getting a dose of flu...twice! 

We started a 3 day lock-down on Saturday, July 31st at 4pm which was extended to Sunday, August 8th at 4pm. We had 9 Covid cases in that last 24 hours of lock-down so numbers had decreased. Our mask mandate will probably remain in place until December. Some other restrictions will remain in place for 2 weeks. I think social distancing will become a normality until enough are vaccinated where it reduces the spread of Covid dramatically. 

I think they should consider quarantining Aussies returning from overseas for at least 3 to 4 weeks, instead of just 2 weeks. One guy was in quarantine for 2 weeks and was negative on all his Covid tests and then, a week after leaving quarantine, he tested positive causing it to spread into the community. Luckily, our state government acted quickly with restrictions and two lock-downs. Sadly, New South Wales isn't fairing too well because their Premier was slower to act. They are averaging between 250 and 270 new cases a day at the moment. They had 357 new cases on the 9th. I hope they manage to get on top of it.

Bradley (son) had his first Pfizer jab on Friday with only mild side effects - headache and a bout of nausea. Sore arm too but that is to be expected with it being an intramuscular jab. I had my first Astra-Zeneca jab on the 10th (yesterday). I'm nervous because, a very tiny percentage of people had some very nasty side effects such as life-threatening blood clots with the Astra-Zeneca. Cross fingers I don't have that happen but it's a risk I am willing to take for the greater good. If I caught Covid with having asthma, my chances wouldn't be good anyway. The Delta variant spreads like wildfire and is deadly.

My doctor said to get checked if I develop any symptoms after the 4th day. The peak period is 6 to 14 days but blood clots can develop even a month after Astra-Zeneca vaccination. Wish me luck.

Anyway, just prior to the lock-down, we managed to get away for a much needed family day trip to Andrew Drynan Park. It's so lovely and peaceful out that way. It"s our new favourite spot. Aaron recently bought a new Mitsubishi Outlander SUV and he had attached an awning to the roof racks. It worked beautifully! The grass greens took on a bright yellow tone because the sun was full-on with barely a cloud in the sky. Very reflective.

A couple of galahs dropped by

Aaron's dogs - Violet and Scarlett

a family selfie


I love the textures of trees

We all had a beautiful day! On the way home, we passed a Paraglider Pilot holding up a sign asking for a lift into town. He had the glider packed up in a huge bag. We were upset that we couldn't help him because the car was already chockers with our gear and no available seat. Aaron said that Beau would stop for him and, sure enough, Beau did pick him up and dropped him into Beaudesert where he was meeting up with other Paraglider Pilots. Beau said they had a nice chat about Paragliding.


I haven't been doing a lot of sketching lately but I have been keeping my hands busy knitting bed socks. No easy feat when I deal with daily arthritic pain in my hands. I can't even straighten my ring fingers...the middle knuckles are so swollen and very painful pretty much all the time. I hate the shooting pains.
Anyway, years ago, I would knit bed socks for the boys and Aaron said he wanted a pair for this winter. The bed sock pattern is very basic. They aren't pretty-looking but hey, they are bed socks.

Aaron modelling the socks. 
Violet and Scarlett adore him.
Nice shot of my Maseurs too. hehe

So that's the goss for now. 

I've been also watching some art classes online 
when I get the chance.

I hope you are all keeping safe and well.

Love, Light and Peace