Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

Category: Wednesday W’s (Page 1 of 11)

Wednesday W’s #104.

What’s top of my mind: It’s good to be home.

I took this photo yesterday at the Backyard Beach. It’s looking towards Melbourne, with Scout in the foreground having a paddle, even though it’s the middle of winter.

I sent this photo to Jenna, because it’s looking towards where she and Evan27 live. He’s in California at the moment, doing tech for a show called ‘Motor Boat,’ He’s staying with a friend that he met at Clown College last year, which tickles me a lot. I love that he’s making travelling friends, just as I have.

It’s strange not having Poppy saround me every step of the way, but in some ways it’s easier to just have Scout and Jeff. I’ve been really sick, so the two older dogs ahave been content to blob around with me while I slowly get better.

You should’ve seen Scout crossing the road towards the beach though! Thanks godness I have a sturdy harness on her – she was practically levitating in a horizontal line towards the beach.

Where I’m going: To Apple.

Mum’s phone is on 3G, which is being discontinued in a couple of months. Dad refuses to buy her a new phone. He can’t see the value of a mobile phone because he refuses to use his. So, seeing as I’m not really happy with the quality of photos that my 2 year old iPhone 6 takes, I’m biting the bullet and shelling out for a new phone. Mum can have this one.

Her old phone is so awful that it doesn’t even accept photos via text. She won’t know herself when people can send photos. She’ll have to get used to a slightly different way of operating it – her old phone was an android.

I hope that isn’t a bridge too far…

Where I’ve been: To renew my passport before the price rise kicks in.

Apparently, you can renew your passport inline if it isn’t expired. I wish I’d known this before I traipsed up to the post office to get a form to fill in, but that’s all behind us now.

It was painless and very quick. All I had to do was take a printed form back to the post office, get my photo taken and that was that.

Once I get my new passport back, I can start filling in the details for my 2025 trips.

What I’m reading: Georgette Heyer.

While I’ve been sick I’ve been reading books I have at home. Non-challenging reads. But yesterday I picked up 7 books I had on hold at the library. Once ‘Regency Buck’ is finished, I’ll be revelling in reading!

What I’m watching: OUTLANDER!

I’m so happy that this is back on. I love the books and the tv series. It’s so unusual to be able to love both, but the tv people are doing a great job.

What I’m listening to: Jeffrey snoring.

It’s the sound of home.

What I’m eating: a sourdough bread roll.

It was Megan’s birthday yesterday, so I bought her a cheese and chive pull-apart, to compare to the onderfu one we had in Vancouver. She laughed her head off when she saw it, so I consider that $7 well spent.

While I was at the bakery I saw they had sourdough bread rolls, all crisp and crunchy on the outside. I don’t mind if I do, though $2 for one bread roll is daylight robbery.

What I’m planning: to get back to Liga’s trip.

Now that I’m getting better, I want to get back to Liga’s crazy road trip and book in a few places. She’s given me the dates that she currently has for flights, so we’ll make it all work.

Who deserves a thumbs-up: Georgia.

After I was home for a couple of days and stopped sleeping so much, we had a good long talk about Poppy and we had a good cry. Georgia described the week leading up to Poppy’s death as the most traumatic of her life. The actual decision to give Poppy the green dream was easy – it was obvious that she was too sick to continue. But it was when she was starting to fail that the responsibility hit home – what to do when Mum’s dog is sick.

The kids gathered to see Poppy before she died and David31 and Georgia both went with her to the vet. They let Jeffrey andScout sniff her all over when they got back, so that they knew, and then they buried her directly in the corner of the orchard where I can say good morning to her every day.

I was proud od the kids – they did everything as I would have done it.

What has made me smile: Seeing the galic I planted before I left sticking up out of the ground.

I still have more to plant and the solstice is on Friday, so I’d better crack on. But gee – isn’t gardening so rewarding?

Dad joke of the day:

Wednesday W’s #102.

What’s top of my mind: My Aged Care.

It’s come to that time when my parents need me to fill out the reams of paperwork to get them onto the My Aged Care system. Up until now, they’ve been using their local council for services.

Tomorrow I’m going over there again to spend another day photocopying statements, chasing up forms and generally wanting to be anywhere else but there.

It’d be nice if beaurocracies made their paperwork more streamlined. Just saying.

Where I’m going: To see Evan27 and Jenna’s shows!

Yes, the kids are back at the Comedy Festival again.

Evan27 is performing HERE.

Jenna is performing HERE.

Tom31’s girlfriend thought it’d be nice to get the whole family together to see the shows, so there’ll be a family excursion on Saturday.

Where I’ve been: to see ‘Wicked.’

My sister-in-law has never been to the Theatre, which was shocking to me. I had to fix this sad state of affairs, so I chose a big, rousing musical to pop her theatre cherry. Turns out that she’s a massive ‘Wizard of Oz’ fan, so I accidentally chose the best possible show for her!

She loved it.

Job done. 🙂

What I’m reading: ‘The Best Way to Bury Your Husband, by Alexia Casale

I picked this one up from the library yesterday.

What I’m watching: The White Lotus 2.

I finished this last night and I absolutely loved it. I watched season 1 a while ago and then got sidetracked, but I was back on board for the last few nights.

It’s on Binge, for those who are in Australia.

What I’m listening to: Jeffrey snoring.

It’s the soundtrack of my life when I’m home.

What I’m eating: Green beans from the garden.

In a last desperate sput by Mother Nature, the beans are making a last-ditch effort to produce food before I pull them all up.

I have 4 weeks before I go to Canada and Alaska. Let’s see who gives up first.

What I’m planning: a trip to Kenya, Tanzania and ZANZIBAR.

Doesn’t the last country on that list make your toenails tickle with anticipation of the exotic unknown? I always knew that I wanted to go on a safari in Africa again – 5 days back in 2014 wasn’t long enough – but Zanzibar?!?

Yep. They had me at Zanzibar…

April next year in case anyone is keeping track. It seems that 2025 is going to be the year when I’m away more often than I’m home!

Who deserves a thumbs-up: All those who said that retirement is terrific.

They weren’t steering me wrong.

What has made me smile: Georgia 29 got her license!

Better late than never!

Dad joke of the day:

Wednesday W’s #101

What’s top of my mind: Jeffrey.

It can’t be comfortable being balanced along the back of the couch as he is, but Jeff’s never happy unless he can see me. I’m perched up at the kitchen bench on a stool, typing away, so there’s no way he can velcro himself to my side, which is his preferred position.

But up on the couch, he can gaze at me until he drifts off to sleep. He’s snoring now.

I absolutely love going travelling, but I also love it when I’m home. These three little woofs are everything.

We don’t deserve dogs.

Where I’m going: Mum and Dad’s place.

It’s Dad’s 86th birthday on Sunday, so my sister Kate, her husband and I are going over there for lunch. We’ll go to a nearby park and have a little barbeque.

Where I’ve been: Skydiving!

This is a Little Adventure that I’ll never forget. A post about this will be coming soon.

What I’m reading: ‘Wifedom’ by Anna Funder

I borrowed this from the library a while ago, along with about 7 other books. Then I went to Kangaroo Island, so I was out and about instead of reading. ‘Wifedom’ had to go back to the library, unread, so I placed another HOLD on it as soon as I got home. It took 2 months to swing back to me.

It’s time to tackle this novel. It’s about George Orwell’s first wife. I read about their relationship in another book I read about the Orwells – The Last Man in Europe – and she sounded fascinating.

What I’m watching: The White Lotus season 2.

Now that Australian Survivor has finished, my evenings are now free to explore other seasons of shows I love. I finished all ‘The Walking Dead’ spinoffs, so now it’s time for more elevated viewing.

I’m only a couple of eps in, but I’m enjoying it. It’s on Binge, by the way.

What I’m listening to: a mix of windchimes and snoring.

There’s a very light breeze today, so every now and then I’ll hear a sound from my lovely Kangaroo Island windchimes. Jeffrey is loudly enjoying a nap on the couch, as you know.

What I’m eating: nothing exciting.

However, when I’m able to include ingredients from my garden, I get such a kick out of it.

The photo is for veggies for a bolognese. Our garlic, chilli, celery, zucchini and spinach were in it. Nice!

What I’m planning: nothing in particular.

After the huge flurry of booking 5 trips away, I’ve decided that I should stop booking things for a while and just start to enjoy the anticipation.

Then yesterday I remembered that I’d forgotten to book my flights for The Ghan trip I’m doing in September for my birthday. Oops! Imagine the panic if I hadn’t remembered? I’d be hitch-hiking my way from Melbourne to Adelaide and Darwin to Melbourne. No one who has seen ‘Wolf Creek’ wants to be on their own out in the middle of nowhere…

Funnily enough, I’ve never booked flights myself before. So yesterday afternoon, after I came back from taking Mum to the pool and then having lunch, I bravely clicked onto Webjet. I saw which flights were available, then went onto the actual airlines’ websites to book the flights.

I have to be honest and say that it was a bit of a thrill to click “Darwin.” It sounds incredible that in a few months I’ll be casually wheeling my carry-on through the airport up there. So exotic…

Who deserves a ‘Thumbs-up’: Blogless Sandy.

She’s the one who told me how to book the flights. There would’ve been a lot more googling if she hadn’t told me what to do.

What has made me smile: Easter Monday.

I’m having most of the kids here for lunch and to watch the video of me skydiving. Tom31 and Sophie are in the country seeing her family for Easter, so they’ll not be here, but everyone else is coming.

The plan is to fire up the pizza oven and Georgia29 will make pizzas for everyone. Too easy!

I love having my family all around. They’re such nice people.

Dad joke of the day:

Wednesday W’s #100!!!

I told the dogs that David30 was coming for dinner. Poppy and Scout immediately went to wait for him to arrive.

Obviously, Jeffrey didn’t have the foggiest idea of what I was saying.

What’s top of my mind: I’ve hit triple digits with this series!

I’m not going to lie… I stole the idea for this weekly series from Spo, who’s been doing this forever. Considering that I don’t write these posts when I’m traveling, it seems that I’ve also been writing these forever. I think these entries give a nice look at what retirement life is like, which I know I was always interested in while I was slogging away at work.

I also like the way that it keeps me accountable. “Oh! It’s Wednesday AGAIN. Better write a post!”

Where I’m going: out for a walk with the dogs.

The Little Woofs are giving me ‘that look.’ You know the one I mean.

Where I’ve been: to lunch with Mum.

Week 2 of my 3-week stint of taking Mum to the hydrotherapy pool. While she was in the pool this week, I went for a walk instead of staying in the muggy humidity. I ended up walking to the school and back. I didn’t go in because I knew it was parent/teacher day so most of my friends would be working from home.

But I was texting a fellow Survivor fan from school last night before the Grand Finale and we’ve arranged to have a quick catch-up next Tuesday. By the time I walk there and back, I’ll have about 10 minutes to spare to have a chat. It’ll be fun!

What I’m reading: Nothing.

I know – unprecedented, right?

I’ve just finished an audiobook, but it was so awful that I’m not going to bring it up in polite conversation. It was a 16-hour listen that could easily have been halved.

What I’m watching: a new chart I’ve drawn up.

I have my No Spend Days chart, my Earn My Rates Back chart and now I have a new one. I’m still trialling it, but so far it looks good.

More on this later.

What I’m listening to: I’m back to podcasts.

In my everlasting whirl of audiobook to podcasts to audiobook, I’m back to my pods. Such a relief after the last book.

What I’m eating: pasta with fresh tomato sauce from the garden.

The sauce also has our own garlic, chilli, green leaves, basil and oregano as well as tomatoes.

Not bad.

What I’m planning: Travel. (Of course.)

I’m still thinking about those Northern Lights.

And about a dozen other places. Ah well, it’s fun to dream.

Who deserves a ‘thumbs-up’: Me.

For making it to 100 Wednesday W’s. When I’m on a good thing, I stick to it!

What has made me smile: Look at this!

This is what every quilter lives for! Tom31 wanted me to make a baby gift for one of his best mates. He was expecting a baby girl. This is the quilt I made. I’m so glad little Ava adores it.

Dad joke of the day:

Wednesday W’s #99.

What’s top of my mind: Nothing much.

I’m in a really good place at the moment. Life is serene and contented.

Quite happy to enjoy the peace and quiet, frankly.

Where I’m going: To the backyard.

I have an old friend who I haven’t seen to 20 years, and she’s coming to dinner on Saturday night. Got to make the garden look pretty!

Where I’ve been: to the hydrotherapy pool with Mum.

My sister Kate usually takes Mum to the pool every Tuesday but I’m on duty for the next 3 weeks, while Kte and her husband go to Sri Lanka on a Trip-A-Deal 2 for 1 holiday. I’m interested to hear about their experience with this company when they get back. This company has lots of low-cost tours… tempting!

After an hour spent watching Mum bob around in the pool doing her exercises, we went out to a café for lunch and a catch-up without Dad hearing eery word we say. Not that we were saying anything he wouldn’t want to hear, but sometimes it’s nice to just be one-on-one.

What I’m reading: Good With Money by Emma Edwards.

Tom31 has a friend from high school, who is married to the author of this book. Naturally, when I heard about it, I got the library to buy a copy. It sounds like a good thing to spread the knowledge and love around to as many people who need it. I did the same with Strong Money Australia’s book too.

I quickly came to the realisation that I’m not the target Demographic for Edwards’ book. Even in my teems and twenties, I still had a handle on my money, though I was always better when I had a definite savings goal in mind. This book is for people who want to learn how to handle their money with intentionality.

Well, when I say ‘people’, I mean young women. So if you’re a cranky old man who simply wants people to get off your lawn, then this book isn’t for you. But if you know someone in the target group, there are a lot of good exercises to enable someone to understand why they spend the way they do, then strategies to start digging themselves out of the hole. I’m only halfway through.

What I’m watching: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…

… Survivor Australia is SO much better than the US version. The gameplay is next-world level. Only one more week to go, sadly.

What I’m listening to: the dishwasher.

One of the good things about solar panels is that you can run all the machines like dishwashers, washing machines etc during the day when they’ll be running on free power.

What I’m eating: Fresh tomato and feta pasta.

With basil, oregano, tomatoes and garlic from the garden. Yum!

What I’m planning: When to see the Northern Lights.

Working out which destinations are bucket list ones for me.

Who deserves a ‘thumbs-up’: The people who work at the hydrotherapy pool.

So hot and stuffy!

The pool, not the people.

What has made me smile: Seeing that ‘Life After Life’ is on ABC Freeview.

Life After Life is one of the best books I’ve ever read. And now it’s a BBC series.

My life keeps getting better and better.

Dad joke of the day:

Wednesday W’s #98

What’s top of my mind: How much I love my floorboards.

Well, last night made me glad yet again for my wooden floors. Poppy, pictured on the left in happier times, was walking around and around the room at 4 AM. Then I smelt something BAAAD, I leaped up and put her out. The poor girl had been trying to hold in diarrhoea… well, let’s just say that I was reminded of a fire hose when she got out onto the grass. She spent the rest of the night in the ensuite with a dog rug, but like MacBeth, my sleep was murdered for the rest of the night.

The clean-up on floorboards of the bit she couldn’t hold in wasn’t pleasant, but on carpet? I don’t even want to imagine.

She’s not in great spirits this morning, poor love. It’s hard when they can’t speak to tell you what’s wrong.

Where I’m going: I booked another holiday. Oops.

I have a timeshare that I bought back in 2006 that, until now, I’ve never used. It uses points and has various properties the timeshare owns that I can stay in, plus access to lots more. This is how I stayed at Kangaroo Island and how I was able to give David30 and Izzy a week’s stay in a very swish place in New Zealand for a week.

I was musing that I get back from the Ghan trip in the middle of September but then I didn’t have anything booked until February next year. That’s a big gap. I wanted another holiday but I didn’t want to spend any more money.

I decided to jump onto the Accor Vacation Club website to see if there was anything interesting available in Nov/Dec.

Turns out that there’s a place in Lake Crackenback (near Thredbo in the Snowy Mountains) that people have been raving about for years and others whinge that they can never get a spot. There was a 1BR available for a week.

I’ve never been to this part of the world. My geography was a little hazy about where it was exactly. Turns out it’s only a 6-hour drive from my place!

The real surprise was when, after I locked it in, I decided to go on the website to see how much I’d be paying if I was just Patricia Public booking from the website.



My club fees for the year are $1,200. It was exxy to buy into the club at the time, but I think Past Frogdancer did Present/Future Frogdancer a solid. I’m going to have a week of quiet contemplation among the gumtress, kangaroos and koalas. It’s right near Mt Kosciuszko, (not going to lie… I copied and pasted that name!), which for overseas readers is Australia’s highest mountain, rising to a dizzying height of 2,228m/ 7,310 ft tall. 

Now you know why I was so very impressed by Switzerland.

Where I’ve been: in the backyard.

It’s getting to the stage when the veggie garden is beginning to wind down from the summer. I’ve started ‘chop and dropping’ spent plants and loading up some of the garden beds with mushroom compost and mulch for the winter. I need to get to Bunnings to buy some more animal manure to really beef up things.

Since I’ll be gone for 5 weeks in May/June, I’m not going to have a winter veggie garden. Poor Georgia29 will have enough to cope with by looking after the little woofs, commuting to uni and getting home in the dark without worrying about veggies. Watering the potplants will probably be enough to send her over the edge!

What I’m reading: the latest Robert Galbraith novel.

I bloody love these books. When I heard that the new one was out, I immediately raced to put a hold on it at the library. I was something like number 80 in the queue.

I’m a patient woman. I knew my time in the sun would come.

It’s a 900-page whopper! I’m nearly finished and I’m loving it.

What I’m watching: Sleeping dogs.

I’ll let them lie…

What I’m listening to: the dishwasher.

We’re so lucky to live in these times, aren’t we?

What I’m eating: Soup and home-made bread rolls.

On Monday Blogless Sandy came around after her volunteer stint of walking dogs at the nearby shelter. I made bread rolls, and chicken and veggie soup from the carcass of a roast chook Georgia and I had been chomping our way through.

This is such a delicious thing to make. It’s different every time because it’s dependent on which veggies you have in the garden and fridge, but it’s the sort of food that’s delicious and at the same time you can FEEL it doing you good.

There was a bowl left over. Lunch for me!

What I’m planning: maybe Hawaii?

Megan is thinking that we might make a stopover to Hawaii on the way home from Alaska. This place has never been on my bucket list, but if it isn’t too expensive we might do it. She wants to be somewhere warm for her birthday.

Has anyone been? I’m not a beach person so is there anything else to do but sit and look at palm trees?

Who deserves a ‘thumbs-up’:

The guy we met at the beach yesterday who knew what breed Scout is and didn’t think she was a mongrel cross-breed.

What has made me smile: Seeing zucchinis that are growing and not dying.

It’s ridiculous. Who would ever think that I’d be glad to see zucchinis growing at this time of year? Normally you can’t give them away! This year we’ve had the grand total of 1 zucchini slice from our own garden. Looks like, if we’re lucky, I’ll be able to change that total to 2.

Dad joke of the day:

Wednesday W’s #97

What’s top of my mind: Nothing.

Nothing is at the top of my mind.

I’m just chillin’, baby.

Where I’m going: out to lunch with Izzy.

When I picked up my reading glasses from Specsavers, I had lunch with Izzy while I was there. It occurred to my brilliant brain that this might be a fun thing to do every now and then, so in a couple of hours I’ll be heading off to where she works.

Sushi and a chat on a Wednesday lunchtime with my daughter-in-law. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

Where I’ve been: in the backyard shaving my dogs.

No, that’s NOT a euphemism.

It’s been a weird old summer so far, but now the hot weather is here and the cavaliers needed to get their spay/neuter coats off. Poppy, in particular, was beginning to look like an explosion.

My sister isn’t doing this for me anymore, which is fair enough as she intends to let her new dog grow his coat. So it was up to Georgia and me to do the deed.

The little woofs were surprisingly good. It was all done and dusted in about an hour which coincidentally was around the same time that Scout was preparing to DIE from jealousy at all the attention the others were getting.

The photo is Poppy, now looking sleek and lithe. It’s amazing how much dog is NOT under all that fur.

What I’m reading: Did I Ever Tell You This?’ by Sam Neill.

I’ve always loved Sam Neill, so his memoir was an absolute ‘must-read’ for me. I enjoyed it – particularly two stories. One about Judy Davis (where NO punches are pulled) and the other about James Mason.

Some people have the most incredible lives.

What I’m watching: Australian Survivor.

We just passed Day 26, which was Merge. On US Survivor, that’s when the show ends. And the poor things think that they’re doing it tough!

What I’m listening to: Nothing.

Most days I keep the house really quiet. No music, no podcasts; just natural sounds. I think it’s a reaction to being in a large, noisy school for so long.

What I’m eating: Wraps.

It’s supposed to be 37C today, so I’m thinking that salad wraps will be just the ticket for dinner tonight. Georgia has their first on-campus day at Uni today, so I think they’ll appreciate that too.

Plus sushi for lunch!

What I’m planning: Travel Insurance.

Today is a ‘Spend’ day, because sushi, so I’ll be buying my travel insurance for the Ghan adventure today. I should have done it on the day I booked it, but I can’t help that now!

Who deserves a thumbs-up: My cousin.

My aunt on my Dad’s side has two children, but they both live in the States. She, however, moved back here when her marriage broke up.

She lives near my cousin R, (also on my Dad’s side) who, over the years as my aunt has grown increasingly frail, has taken our aunt under her wing and kept and eye on her.

My cousin is a very compassionate person. She looked after her mother’s husband for years after her Mum died, and is now doing the same thing for my aunt. There are lots of decisions and day-to-day things that simply can’t be attended to from the other side of the world when it comes to the care of an elderly person.

My US cousins are very lucky that R is around.

What has made me smile: The tomatoes are finally coming to an end.

Yes, I know that I was ecstatic to have tomatoes to harvest after 3 years of nothing, but my freezer is full. I can’t take much more!!!

Dad joke of the day:

Wednesday W’s #96.

What’s top of my mind: How lucky I am.

Yesterday in the morning I had to plug my phone in because it had run flat without me noticing. When I had some juice in it, I realised I’d missed two phone calls from my doctor about my recent submission of the bowel cancer test that our government sends out FOR FREE for people over 50 to try and pick up this disease before it goes too far.

I’m glad I live in Australia.

I had a sister-in-law, when I was married, who died of this when she was 36. I remember visiting her in hospital 2 weesk before she died. I was pregnant with Ryan then and she was the only person I told the gender to. I initially said, “I’m not telling anyone” and she replied, “I’ll probably be dead when the baby’s born. I’d love to know if it’s a boy or a girl.” She was correct. I’m keen not to go down the same path.

After my phone was charged, the receptionist from the medical clinic rang, ascertained my details and said that the doctor was “working from home today but he’ll be ringing you in a few minutes.”

Now I’m no hypochondriac, but in my book, no doctor calls unless they have bad news. So many calls in the space of 30 minutes? Yikes.

I’ve got trips I’ve booked. I’ve paid upfront for my Ghan trip to save $1,500. I’m bloody going on that trip, even if I have to drag a colostomy bag with me.

Anyway, the doctor rang and said that everything was fine. The results came back as normal.

oof. Couldn’t he have told me that in a text or email?

Anyway, good to know that my body’s still behaving itself. Still, it was a useful lesson on how everything turns on a dime. My plans could be upended at any time. Still, it hasn’t happened yet, so I’m happy.

Where I’m going: To the US consulate.

Yes, because I’ve been to a Naughty Country I have to apply for a visa and have an interview. I was going to not say anything, but then the thought of being turned back at Anchorage, of all places, and being sent home while Megan merrily goes on with the cruise was too much.

The absolute dog’s breakfast of a website meant that it took me HOURS to finally fill in all the paperwork, pay for my visa and book an appointment. It (almost) made me regret my trip to North Korea.


Where I’ve been: to Spotlight.

Ryan29 gave me a $50 voucher for Spotlight and today I saw that they have 50% off for precut fabric bundles for quilters.

Ok, so I may have spent a bit over $50… well, quite a bit more. But I’m not looking at this as a failure to stay within a budget. It’s more like a canny action to take advantage of a really good bargain.

Now all I have to do is get into the sewing room to start using it.

What I’m reading: The Last Man in Europe – Glover.

Wow. This is about George Orwell’s fight to complete ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’ before he dies. I know ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’ very well, as I taught it for years and also had 3 of my children study it and ask me for help. (The youngest one got to read ‘Animal Farm’ instead.)

Glover has done an extraordinary job of bringing Orwell’s life… well… to life. He shows the experiences and influences that Orwell then used in the novel.

It’s bleak, but then his life was pretty much that way. But if you know ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’ then it’s very much worth the read.

What I’m watching: Junk TV.

Australian Survivor – such a GREAT season so far! – and Love is Blind, with a little bit of Ru Paul’s Drag Race thrown in.

Loving every second of it.

What I’m listening to: the purr of the aircon.

It’s finally time to put the air con on. It’s been such a strange summer so far. It’s been great for me, because I hate the heat and actively look for ways to stay out of the sun, but the heat was never going to stay away forever.

Poppy and Jeff were feeling it right from the start of the day, so when Ryan29 and I went out the door to see my parents, we turned it on for them.

I’m typing at the kitchen bench, with two happily sleeping cavaliers at my feet.

I’m noticing changes in them as they’re getting older. They’re now 10 years old. If I was showing them, they’d be in the Veterans class!

What I’m eating: Ugh. I have no idea.

It’s 5 PM and I have to decide what we’re having for dinner.

The eternal question.

What I’m planning: my travels.

I bought a vacuum bag kit to use for Canada if I decide to only take carry-on again. When I go on the Ghan I won’t have any choice. My room is too small for anything other than a carry-on, apparently.

I also bought a set of folding clothes hangers and pegs to use on all my travels. Remember when I was hanging my washing next to an open window on Kangaroo Island and I was scared things might blow away? The pegs will solve that problem.

I’m learning.

Who deserves a thumbs-up: My parents.

Something lovely happened today.

My trans girl has chosen her new name and it’s a throwback to their middle name, which was George. This was after their great-grandfather, (Mum’s Dad), who they remember.

They’ve decided to be called Georgia and to take my surname.

We went to my parents today so that they could take a drive in the car they’re going to use for their driving test in a couple of months. They told my grandparents the name they’d chosen, then when Dad was walking out with us to wave us off, he called out, “See you later, Georgia!”

My parents are in their 80’s. They’ve certainly come a long way since the days of the Marriage Equality referendum, when they were going to vote no.

With my youngest son’s permission, I told them that Evan was bisexual, so they might be blocking him from being able to get married someday to the person he loves. They voted yes.

Since then they’ve had another granddaughter move in with a woman, and now a trans granddaughter. They love the people who are theirs and that’s that.

I’m actually very proud of them.

What has made me smile: How Fortunate Frogdancer always gets what she wants.

It may not be for years, and it’s sometimes in an unexpected way, but when I look back over my life, I always seem to get what I’ve wanted.

A grey cat? Sure! Along comes Maris. (This is one in a long line of tiny things.)

Financial Independence? Thought I’d have to work until pension age but no. Fantastic.

Contentment and happiness? Back in the day, I couldn’t see how that could happen but bingo! Here we are.

One thing I always thought would not be a possibility is to have a daughter. When I was having babies I REALLY wanted a daughter. Why else would I have had 4 kids in 5 years? Instead – boys.

It occurred to me over breakfast this morning that again, Fortunate Frogdancer has got what she wanted. Getting a daughter this way is certainly very unexpected but there you go.

Ha ha. Life’s funny.

Dad joke of the day:

Wednesday W’s #95.

What’s top of my mind: TRAVEL!

Yesterday I booked a trip to Vietnam for Feb 2025. It was totally spur-of-the-moment… you know, these travel companies really make it far too easy to book things online.

When I was telling my sister about it later in the day, she told me about the travel company Trip-a-Deal. I spent lots of time down that rabbit hole! The company specialises in ‘2 for 1’ deals, but there are ways around it if you’re a solo traveller. I rang their hotline to ask.

Anyway, it’s slowly dawning on my mighty intellect that I don’t have to go away for months each time. Maybe several smaller holidays could be fun, too?

Where I’m going: to take Dad to the dentist.

I wouldn’t mind except he booked an 8:45 appointment on a weekday in Armadale.


Where I’ve been: vacuum packing my veggies.

Rhonda from Down To Earth, a blog I’ve been reading for nearly 20 years, recently bought a Zwilling vacuum sealing kit and she absolutely loves it. She says that it has increased the storage of food, especially fresh veggies, by up to 5 weeks.

I caved and bought a beginners set for my Christmas present to myself. They’re not cheap, but so far I’m loving it. We have many cucumbers safely zwillered away.


What I’m reading: Nothing.

I finished a book this morning but it wasn’t much chop so I won’t bore you with the details.

What I’m watching: Mr In-Between.

And Australian Survivor, of course!

I’m late to the party with ‘Mr In-Between’, but now that I’ve got Binge I started watching it last night. I’m loving it!

What I’m listening to: Jeffery snoring.

It’s lovely to go away on holidays but hey, it’s great to be back with the Little Woofs. His snores are so peaceful.

What I’m eating: Cucumbers.

It’s The Year of Cucumbers in the veggie garden. We’re knee-deep on the things. Ryan29 and I are eating them with almost every meal but we still can’t seem to make a dent in them.

What I’m planning: Whether or not to take a massive Central Australia holiday next year.

I’m tempted… but it’s expensive. But then, I suppose it’s never going to get any cheaper, is it?

Who deserves a thumbs-up: Ryan29.

Ryan29 looked after the dogs, garden and house beautifully again while I was gone.

What has made me smile: Ryan29 asked me which of the dogs I thought missed me most when I was gone.

I guessed Jeffrey.

Turns out it was Scout. The Cavaliers adjusted very quickly to me being absent, moving in to spend their days in the bedroom with Ryan29.

Scout, on the other hand, took days to join them, preferring to spend her time looking out of the front window. She got really excited when Ryan29 mentioned the word “Mum.”

The picture is Scout when she was a puppy.

She really is a very good girl.

Dad joke of the day:

Wednesday W’s #94

What’s top of my mind: Packing for my trip away.

I’m leaving very early in the morning tomorrow and the only preparation I’m doing is to buy some groceries for breakfasts while I’m gone.

I have to say though; it’s a big difference from packing for 5 weeks’ carry-on luggage as opposed to having a whole car that I can fill up with stuff if I want to!

Where I’m going: Kangaroo Island.

Have I researched? Do I know what I’m going to do when I get there?

Haha NO.

It’s weird how I’ll plan my overseas holidays so that I know where I’ll be and what I’ll be doing every single day, yet I’ll blithely jump in the car and head off without a single thought when it’s a domestic trip.

Where I’ve been: Southland with Mum and Kate.

I put my car in for a service yesterday, seeing as I was driving to another state, and spent a few hours hanging out with my family. Kate sees Mum and Dad every Tuesday, so I tagged along. It was nice.

What I’m reading: Nothing special.

I only read one book last week and it was a ho-hum “thriller” that I guessed the ending to when I was less than half-way in. This is the second time this has happened with this author so I won’t be wasting my time with her again.

What I’m watching: White Lotus.

I finished this last night and I really enjoyed it. Practically everyone in it is unlikeable but seeing as it was a limited series (unlike Succession!) I kept with it to see what ended up happening.

What I’m listening to: Dogs snoring and the dishwasher going.

Morning sounds.

What I’m eating: Breakfast.

Well, I haven’t had any yet, but I will be as soon as I finish this post.

What I’m planning:

I think I’ve made it plain that I SHOULD be planning a lot more than I’m doing! Though I have done one thing today – I rang the place I’m going to because it occurred to me that it isn’t actually one of the rooms that belongs to my timeshare – it’s like a partnership deal.

I’m used to taking a box of groceries with me whenever I stay at a timeshare place because they always have kitchens. This time? No.

Thank goodness I found that out before I lugged a whole heap of food across from Adelaide!

Who deserves a thumbs-up: Me.

I’ve agreed to look after Kate’s new dog for 5 nights in March when they go to Sri Lanka. He’s a very big dog…

What has made me smile: picking the first tomatoes of the season.

Also the first strawberries, warm from the sun.

Dad joke of the day:

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