and how quickly plans can change!

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Ha! In my last post I said that we were likely going to include NYC in our trip later in the year. Well, after some serious planning, I just don’t think we’ll have the time I would really like to spend in NYC so I’ve taken it off the list … which leaves more time for other things and less time having to rush around. As much as I’d love to see NYC I don’t want to try to see it in a blink of a flash. I think a minimum of 5-6 days would be required to really get some NYC experience in and well with everything else that we’d planned, it was just too hard to try fit it in. Next time!
We do have plans for lots of national parks and canyons, mountains, rivers, lakes and I think that is more us on this trip. Of course there is that side trip to the east to fit in some NASCAR racing. Hubby is a LONG time fan so while in Rome …

On another note …

27867003_10215518437219053_7011078618658968918_nHere is one of my first real attempts at bird photography. Not a super exciting start but I’m really pleased with how this shot came out. I was shooting into the late afternoon sun and everything is nice & clear … no dark shadows or anything like that. These two, are 2 of about 24 or more, pink & grey galah’s that reside around home. Despite being a bit messy and noisy at sunrise/sunset I love that they have chosen our home as their home too. Still learning the ins and outs of the new camera, as is to be expected, but am loving the new compact size, weight and all the features that I’ve discovered so far! #Spoilt!

Today I am grateful for the cooler weather, even though it is quite humid.
Have a great weekend!

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and so the planning begins . . .

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It has been 10 years since Brian and I have had a real holiday (longer than just a few days) and we are now in the planning stages of what will be an epic 5.5 week trip to Canada & the USA. We are both so looking forward to being able to spend some real time together, celebrate our 30th year of marriage, exploring some new lands, meeting new people, discovering new foods, and everything that goes with a holiday.
We do have a basic plan, destinations and routes planned out, but don’t really want to tie ourselves into being locked into having to be “here” on a certain date. We’ve always traveled like this and will likely do so again for the most part for this trip.
Thank goodness for Google Maps – we’ve been able to ‘pin’ and ‘save’ all our favourite, would like to see spots and so far this is what our west coast USA/Canada trip looks like. This is for the first part of the trip to be seen over 3 weeks. Some places may be a quick stop and look, others may take a day or three.

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Our plan is to include NYC – looking forward to that part of the trip. I think it will be a huge culture shock living on 300+ acres with a population of humans x 2, going to an island the size of 59 square km with 1.7 million people on it. I think our 4 days on Manhattan Island will be pretty full on! Bring it on . . .

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Exciting times ahead!
Till next time . . .

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A new year @ camera club

If you like my header image you can purchase it in various formats “HERE”

Last night I attended the first of our camera club meetings for 2018. I entered the 3 allowed photos and walked out with 2 bronze awards … pretty happy with that! The theme for the night was “Tales from the River Bank” and I received the awards for my mono theme entry and the other for my open entry. The judge liked my colour entry for the theme, however suggested that I could possibly have cropped the photo differently so no award here.
Here are the photos the bronze awards were given for
“It’s a duck’s life” theme mono – comments – well shot, exposure is spot on, maybe remove the sticks from the left hand side that lead your eyes out of the image. Judge Seng Mah
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“Is this my good side?” – open entry – comments – as above remove distracting parts of the image. The legs leaving the image at the bottom are distracting but overall has good potential. Judge Ron – President of the Mundaring Camera Club
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Below is my theme colour entry “A Perfect Day” to which Seng suggested cropping some of the river out on the bottom so as to bring the main image forward. Judge Seng Mah.
I did apply said cropping in the 2nd image below and it certainly makes a difference. I also tried a version where I’d cropped out some of the sky to create more of a panorama style photo but it didn’t work as well. Things to remember in future! IMG_5772IMG_5772-3
Hope you all have a fabulous weekend whatever your plans!

 

 

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and so 2018 begins …

Welcome to 2018!

Happy New Year … I truly hope that 2018 brings much laughter, love, family and friends, travel, books, photography, gardening, good health and anything else that brings joy into your lives.

Recapping on 2017 …
My last post here was a hard one to write. It kinda made me realise that what I had heard via phone the week before was a reality and wasn’t a bad dream. It has taken me 3+ months to really move on from hearing that news. I lost all my mojo and felt that I just moved on through life, without living it. A weight started to lift off my shoulders though after attending Annette’s Celebration of Life at the end of November … I think it was the closure that was needed. Like after a funeral. You get to say your goodbyes and then you can start moving forward again, albeit slowly.  We all wore colour to signify Annette’s love of life and shared memories and moments of our precious time with her.  Annette wrote her own eulogy, which was beautifully written (note to self, chase up your copy of it). We said our farewells at Annette’s favourite beach = a beautiful location and the perfect day to farewell a beautiful soul xx Annette you touched so many lives while here, and I don’t think you realised just how many. You are truly missed my dear friend … never forgotten ❤

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My Goals for 2018, quite simple really

  • We plan to travel, currently seriously looking at Canada or New Zealand, haven’t really traveled in 10 years so it’s a big decision, and of course an exciting one!
  • I plan to enter every competition in our camera club – last year I placed a very close 4th (I had 30 points, 3rd place was 32 points) and I guess with that is learn more … simply by getting out there taking more photos
  • Read more – currently reading 2 books and am enjoying them both for very different reasons
    Life’s Golden Ticket … a story about 2nd chances by Brendon Burchard
    The Atlantis Code … Thomas Lourds Book 1 by Charles Brokaw
  • Finally … I know I’ve said this numerous times but I really want to try and blog more … honest

So, what happened in my first week of 2018 . . .

  • New Year’s Day I headed to Perth to take photos for our first camera competition “Tales from the River Bank”. I discovered a part to Perth that I’d not been to before as the area I had planned to visit to take the photos was closed off to traffic due to the Perth Cup.
  • I had the car serviced, unfortunately the service centre I’d planned on going to was closed so I took it back to Osborne Park and from there I caught a bus and train into the city (kinda getting my head around using public transport a bit more, the Transperth app is certainly a great help!). I was looking for shoes and I dislike shoe shopping so I headed into Watertown – outlet shopping precinct. For about $170 I purchased 2 pairs of shoes, 2 pairs of sandals, 3 pairs of thongs (flip flops for those of you over seas … love Rivers thongs!), a top, a scarf for a gift and 2 pairs of trackies for next winter. I think I did ok ☺ I also visited a camera shop and did some more research on a new camera purchase … more about that later!

Finally …
Things I am grateful for this week in no particular order … the beautiful weather we’ve had this week, the discovery of a new part of our great city, an enjoyable shopping trip into the city, the ability to pay our bills this week and have money spare, a roof over my head, the bird life that visits our garden (the magpies have returned and I heard Kookaburras for the first time in ages), my wonderful husband, the fact that I had a can of expanding foam go off in my car boot and it didn’t do too much damage, my weekly chat with our son, both our jobs, life!

 

 

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The world lost a beautiful soul …

A week ago today I received that phone call that no one ever wants to receive. My dear friend Annette, who I’ve known for nearly 40 years, lost her battle with the Big C. Annette fought courageously and with dignity but lost her fight far too early. Life is so, so unfair sometimes. I kinda knew that the day was coming, however, it doesn’t make it any easier. There will be no funeral, we did discuss this some time back, back before we knew that the end was neigh, but rather a Celebration of Life.
Annette … I will miss you always, miss your infectious laughter, miss your smile, miss those hugs, and miss our catch ups. ♥ you always my dear friend.

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September already …

I am seriously wondering where this year has gone. I mean it’s the 5th of September already. I was honestly going to start writing on my blog more often, yet January was my last post. Ok, in my defense, I have taken on a few projects this year and now also work 2 days a week elsewhere … not much of an excuse really is it, but it’s mine and I’m going to stick to it.

So what has 2017 held for us so far …
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I’ve read many books so far this year (mainly digital) and have even joined an International Book Lovers group on Facebook. In the short period of time I’ve been a member I’ve purchased one book recommended by one of the groups members – James Lipton’s An Exaltation of Larks. A quirky book, with over 250 beautiful engravings and everything I need to know about group terms (real & fanciful) from the 15th – 21st centuries.
Other books in digital form that I have read this year are predominately from the Samsung-Kindle deal we have here in Australia, which allows a Samsung phone/tablet owner with the Kindle app, one free book a month from a choice of 4. It has enabled me to read books in genres that I probably would not normally have looked at and something I am eternally grateful for.

As you may know, I love photography and am currently on the committee (treasurer) of a camera club that I belong to. This year I also took on 2 very different sub-committee roles, in addition to the above.
1st position was to help organise an exhibition that our club held back in July to celebrate the club’s 20th Birthday. From all accounts the exhibition was quite successful, and as much as I learnt and enjoyed the whole experience, I was super thankful when it was all over! The image below was one of 2 images I had in the exhibition and was voted 2nd in the people’s choice awards.

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The 2nd position was to chair the sub-committee to organise our annual weekend way, which was held a few weekends ago. Again, it was an interesting experience, however very thankful that it’s done & dusted!

On that note … I will finish today.
Life is short … work hard … play harder!

 

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I think I am …

I think I am a terrible blogger. I seem to get all enthused for a short period of time, then life gets busy and my blog gets neglected. There really isn’t any other good explanation or reason.
I’m not promising anything this year about how often I may post here but I will try and make an effort.
Soap making … is still going strong and I have made a large number of batches since last posting. I made a conscious decision at the start to not ever use palm oil due to the environmental disaster of this oil. I’ve stuck to that. I also made the decision to only ever use natural products very early on and as alluring the pretty micas are and as wonderful fragrance oils are, I have steered well clear of them. My soaps are coloured by use of herbs, spices, clays, fruits or vegetables and are only ever scented with essential oils, if at all. It’s a really hard choice to stick to sometimes when you see what can be created with bright, strong colours, but the choice was made and I need to be me.
Crafts … still taking many photographs and even receiving acknowledgement for my growth in this craft when entering competitions in my camera club. This photo was taken just last night at a club outing. img_9646
Papercrafts … I’m on a roll at the moment and have started making cards ahead of time trying to keep on top of things so that when life throws unexpected curve balls I’m not trying to make up for lost time or rushing and creating a card at the last minute. Although I often work well under pressure!
On that note I will end today’s ramblings.
Striving for a positive 2017!
Chelle

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