Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

Category: Wednesday W’s (Page 3 of 4)

Wednesday W’s #19.

Close up of a mini wire-haired dachshund with a luxurious beard.
Scout.

What’s top of my mind: It’s Payday today!

After working a full week last week and then accepting a further two weeks’ worth of work, I finally get to see why I’m working so hard.

It better be worth it!!!!

Where I’ve been: Wedding dress shopping.

No, not for me! The last thing I want is a husband!

I asked Izzy a little while ago if I could come along one day, because unless one of my sons gets married in a dress I’m never going to have the experience.

It was fun, though it got a little tedious by the end. There are only so many beads and lace that you can look at before they all start to look the same. I went with Izzy, her Mum and her sister. Afterwards we went for coffee and cake and I feel like I know her sister a little better now, which is great.

We didn’t find “THE dress”, though Izzy kept talking about one she tried on a month ago, so I have a feeling that THE dress has already been found – it just hasn’t been ordered yet.

Where I’m going: Straight home.

I still haven’t had that haircut though. I might sneak that in.

What I’m watching: Year 8 boys pretending to be working on their essays on their laptops.

Every now and then, just when they’re looking really engrossed in their “essays”, I take a short stroll around the room and watch them switch their screens. It’s easy to tell when they’re not working – they stop typing and start using their touchpads.

What I’ve been reading: Miriam Margolyes’ memoir.

This was ok. I enjoyed the first part, where she talked about her childhood, and the last part, where she talked about movies, plays and people that I actually knew.

The middle part was all gossip about plays and people that I’ve never heard of, but I ploughed through regardless. This book would probably be riveting to someone twenty years older than me.

What I’m listening to: An audiobook.

Someone commented on a post here about liking Fiona Lowe’s novels. I realised I’d already read one and enjoyed it, so when I decided that I’d have a break from podcasts and listen to a book instead, I decided to try another one. I’m only up to the second chapter of ‘A Home Like Ours‘ but I’m liking it. The prologue was very good.

The trouble with being a speed reader is that I can read a physical book much more quickly than it takes to get through an audiobook. Sixteen hours!!! That’s a huge chunk of time for one story.

What I’m eating: Evan25’s easter eggs.

David28 left some easter eggs here for Evan25. They sat on my dressing table for weeks without being touched. But…

… I’m only human.

Who needs a good slap: Probably me, after that last entry.

What I’m planning: A walk with the little woofs.

I’m hoping that the forecast rain holds off so that the little woofs can have a run on the beach. The smells there must be intoxicating for them.

What has made me smile: The kids at school.

It’s been a couple of months since I first started work as a CRT. I expected that the kids I used to teach would be happy to see me when I first arrived and yes, they were. What I didn’t expect was that I’d still be having rapturous reunions with kids after so much time has gone by.

Last Friday, for example, I was on yard duty at the canteen. A girl that I taught 2 years ago for a semester of Drama in year 9 was sitting at a table, talking with her friends. I recognised her but walked past, thinking that my time with her was so far back into the past that she probably wouldn’t remember me. All of a sudden I heard a screech of “Miss Jones!” and she came racing up to have a chat, bringing a friend with her.

The year 8 kids, who I’d never taught and so didn’t expect that they’d notice me as a ‘sub’ – they’ve been the real shock. They’ve been warm and welcoming and so happy to see me. I think the Dad jokes that I start the lesson with might have something to do with it.

There’s no wonder that I choose to drive to work here, rather than simply work at the school at the end of my street. The kids here are just lovely.

Dad joke of the day:

I passed an RACV van and the driver was in tears.

I thought, ‘This guy is heading for a breakdown.’

(That joke was for Aussies. Google RACV, everyone else.)

For everyone else in the world:

What do you call a beat-up Batman?

A bruised Wayne.

Wednesday W’s #18.

What’s top of my mind: Work.

I’ve picked up a full week of work. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here, but I’ve worked out that every FULL day of work pays for TWO places at the wedding reception next year.

I know; on one level it’s a bit depressing. That’s a lot of hours to pay for a couple of meals and some drinks. But on another level, I get up and say, “Today I’m working for my brother and sister-in-law!” Or whoever.

People at work find that funny. “Who are you working for today?” they ask as I come through the door.

So far I haven’t said no to a single day of work. Let’s see how long that continues. This week will be a real test. I keep looking ahead to October, though. Traditionally, as soon as the year 12 exams start, then all CRT work stops. I know I’ll have a nice long break over late spring and summer.

Where I’ve Been: ‘Kill Climate Deniers.’

Sounds a bit dramatic, doesn’t it? Well, that’s appropriate, seeing as it was a play. One of my ex-students from my 2019 Theatre Studies class messaged me and asked if I’d like to come and see her play.

Of course! When I saw that another of my students was doing the multi media, I was rapt. Two birds – one stone, baby!

I was so proud of the work they did. It was lovely to catch up with Helena after the show. Can’t believe they’re now 21…!

Where I’m going: nowhere.

A full week of work. There’s not much room for anything else. I like being here with the kids and my friends, but yet… I miss my untrammelled days of freedom.

Though I am taking Poppy to the vet next Monday for her anti-arthritis shot. At least I have that to look forward to…

What I’m watching: Better Call Saul.

A year ago, Ryan27 finally convinced me to watch ‘Breaking Bad.’ We watched all 5 seasons together as a mother/son thing, even though he’d already seen it before.

I think the same thing might happen with Saul.

What I’ve been reading: The new Dervla McTiernan book.

I forgot to bring my book to work yesterday and I was so cross with myself! I had 4 periods of English, all with 10 minutes of silent reading, so imagine how much I would’ve been able t get through?

I’ve only read a couple of chapters so far, but it seems promising. The Murder Rule is a stand-alone story, which is fine, I guess… I really want to find out what happens next in the life of Cormac Reilly, her protagonist in the series that starts with The Ruin. I’ve got my sister reading this one at the moment. πŸ™‚

What I’m listening to: Podcasts.

I tend to listen to poddies in the car and music when I’m quilting, so this week has been a Casefile, Dan Smow’s History Hit and Welcome to Nightvale time.

My son, Evan25, is starting a comedy podcast next week with his friend. I’ll post a link when it’s live.

What I’m eating: Home-made bread rolls for lunches.

I’m working to earn money, not to spend it at the school canteen! (Though having said that, the school canteen has really lifted its game – the food is fantastic… though not cheap.)

My go-to for lunch when I’m working is a home-made bread roll with home-grown lettuce and some cheese. This week it’s Red Leicester. Yesterday I tried putting some nasturtium leaves in as well, thinking they’d give a peppery flavour, but I couldn’t tell the difference.

It’s quick to make, fills me up and is quick to eat. That last point is handy when you usually have a yard duty for half of lunch.

Who needs a good slap: Me.

Normally when I work, I set the alarm for 6:30.

I gently awoke this morning, then lazily reached out and grabbed my laptop. It was 7:20. I didn’t set the alarm.

I didn’t know I could start running first thing in the morning. I got here on time, but oof!

Note to self: when you know you’re working, set the alarm immediately! Don’t wait until the night before.

What I’m planning: a ‘girls weekend’ away.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to swing it, but I’m thinking a couple of nights away with Jenna, Izzy and my two nieces might be fun. It’ll give them all a chance to connect – I like the idea of the young women of my family all being friends.

What has made me smile: The little woofs.

Apparently they wait for me ALL DAY. This is a photo of Poppy and Jeff asleep on Ryan27’s Oodie.

We really don’t deserve dogs.

Dad joke of the day:

My boss asked me why I was only sick on work days.

I said, “It must be my weekend immune system.”

Wednesday W’s #17.

What’s top of my mind: The importance of timing.

We went for a beach walk this morning. The radar said that my suburb wasn’t going to get rain but when we were out there I saw rain falling over Frankston and decided to turn back.

Five minutes after we got home, the rain arrived. Fortunte Frogdancer strikes again! I’ll include shots from today’s walk in this post.

Where I’ve been: May’s Little Adventure.

Post to come.

Where I’m going: Aldi to get bocconcini.

The boys are all coming over for a pizza lunch on Mothers Day and David28 asked for bocconcini on his pizza. On the next ‘spend day’, which will probably be tomorrow, I’ll hunt down those cheese balls.

Nothing but the best for my boys!

What I’m watching: How very beautiful Poppy is.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are a very pretty breed to begin with, (unless their owners stuff them so full of treats that they waddle when they walk.) I’ve owned this breed since I was 20 and I’ve had many Cavaliers, particularly when I was breeding and showing them before I started breeding humans.

But hand on my heart, I’d have to say that Poppy is the best example of the breed I’ve ever owned. She’s utterly beautiful and moves like a dream. She’s my shadow… unless someone else walks into the kitchen.

It’s a pity that she doesn’t have a sense of humour. Life’s a serious business for Poppy.

What I’ve been reading: Men Cause 100% of unwanted pregnancies.

I first saw this on a Twitter thread ages ago, but with the news coming out of America that their Supreme Court is likely to be overturning Roe Vs Wade, this article is incredibly timely.

I’ve never been more glad to be a woman living in Australia. I don’t know what the hell is happening in the US, but between their healthcare system, the guns and now this – I’m VERY glad that my ancestors got onto the boats headed for here instead of there.

Sorry if this upsets any US readers, but this is how it looks from over here. There are many wonderful things about the US and her people, but things seem to be slipping in a nasty direction.

What I’m listening to: A Wrinkle in Time.

I’ve never read this book and apparently it’s a classic. So I downloaded it from the library, thinking that it was an eBook. But no… it’s an audiobook. So I guess I’ll put ‘Mum’s Boppin’ Bangers’ on Spotify to the side for a while and catch up on my reading while I’m quilting.

What I’m eating: Home-made hommus.

I brought back an uneaten Turkish bread from my last Little Adventure, so Ryan27 and I used it up with some hommus that I whipped up. There was some hommus left over, so yesterday I spread it on a freshly-baked bread roll and polished it off for lunch.

Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that make all the difference.

No, it’s not the same photo!

Who needs a good slap: Ummm

This is always the hardest one to fill in. My life is pretty chill. Total freedom – aka retirement – suits me well.

What I’m planning: A little nap after lunch.

The Spanish were certainly onto something when they invented the siesta. I love a good nanna nap!

What has made me smile: Finding out how to delete shows from my “Currently watching” list on Netflix.

You know how sometimes a show sounds as if it’ll be good, then you start watching and realise that it’s AWFUL? And then it stays on your ‘watching’ list forever, unless you get sick of it and whizz through every episode on fast forward just to get rid of it?

Turns out that if you log into Netflix on your computer, there’s an option to ‘clean’ lists. I knew that there must be an easier way! I’m so happy I found it.

Dad joke of the day:

Wednesday W’s #16.

What’s top of my mind: Getting another row finished on my quilt.

The photo is of two rows of blocks. It’s exciting because I can already see the pattern emerging.

But boy! This quilt takes constant mindfulness. There are a lot of corners that have to be edged up exactly right. After an afternoon’s sewing on this beast my eyes feel like they’re going around like Catherine wheels.

Where I’ve been: on April’s Little Adventure.

Post to come.

Where I’m going: To the High Country.

I suddenly realized that I have a lot of points in my Vacation Club to use up before June 30. Being constantly in lockdowns last year meant that I didn’t get the chance to go anywhere. So the chase is on! I decided to nip away this coming weekend to see the autumn colours up in the high country.

What I’m watching: My garden slipping into ‘winter’ mode.

I’ve already put a few beds to sleep for the winter, spreading fertiliser, chopping spent plants as mulch etc. Give it another month and most of the beds will be waiting for spring.

Though having seen the prices for cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower at Aldi yesterday, I might grow a few winter veggies. Yikes!

What I’ve been reading: French Braid by Anne Tyler.

I’ve read a few books by Anne Tyler and there hasn’t been a dud amongst them. With French Braid, Tyler has created another winner.

It’s not a long novel, but it covers decades in the lives of a family. I particularly liked the character of the mother. Some reviewers find her very selfish, but I identified with how she chose to live her life on HER terms. I seem to have done the same, though I’ve made different choices than she did.

Anne Tyler has written a long list of nvels. Now I want to track them down and read them all.

What I’m listening to: Nothing.

Argh! I’ve misplaced my iPad! It has all of my podcasts in it. I really need to track it down before Friday. I’d hate to be driving for hours and not have poddies to listen to.

What I’m eating: Red capsicums from the garden.

This year may have been a shocking one for tomatoes, but I’ve grown the best capsicums ever. Ryan27 loves green capsicums, but even he got sick of them and so I now have a few caps that were left long enough for them to turn red.

Tonight we’ll be having chicken tikka masala so I can use one. So happy. πŸ™‚

Who needs a good slap: No one.

It’s all chill here.

What I’m planning: A trip to Manly Beach in Sydney.

Again, using up points from the holiday club. I’ve never been to Manly, and the last time I was in Sydney was 12 years ago with the boys. We climbed the bridge and went to Taronga zoo and the aquarium and had a great time.

I’ve locked it in for June. Something to look forward to!

What has made me smile: Talking to the boys on the phone.

It’s such a simple thing, but I love it when I chat to them. Two still live with me, so that’s pretty easy, but when the others call – or I call them and they pick up the phone straight away – it makes my day.

It’s surprising how fond you can get of the people you make.

Dad joke of the day:

Wednesday W’s #15

What’s top of my mind: Payday again today!

Now that the state government has relaxed the rules for close contacts, I’m wondering how much work I’ll be picking up now that parents of young kids don’t have to isolate with them anymore.

Where I’ve been: Hanging around waiting for my heater to be replaced.

Yes, what with the fridge last week and then my gas ducted heater needing to be replaced today, it’s been an expensive school holidays.

Where I’m going: Nowhere.

I’m intending on having a lovely week just chilling here.

What I’m watching: Peaky Blinders.

I’ve had this show in my Netflix queue for ages, but it was the news that a kid from Jack30’s year level has secured a role in the 6th and final season that finally prompted me to start it. I have until June to get up to speed on the first 5 seasons. (Luckily they only have 6 episodes per season!)

What I’ve been reading: ‘Immune: A Journey into the mysterious system that keeps you alive.’

Ryan27 read this book to deepen his understanding of the immune system while doing his myotherapy course. Ever since then, he’s been badgering me to read it. Of course, I avoided it because it sounds boring. But I ran out of books to read over Easter so I picked it up.

It’s fascinating! The guy who wrote it has a youtube channel that explains all sorts of things in an entertaining way and he’s kept the same thing up here. I had absolutely no idea how incredible and – frankly – impossible our immune system really is. I’m only a third of the way into it and I’m loving it. It’s a non-fiction book that reads… well, if not like a fiction book, then at least an easy-to-digest non-fiction book.

What I’m listening to:

The last Fire and Chill podcast.

I think it’s a terrible shame that the new ASIC guidelines for discussions around personal finance n Australia have been so heavy-handed that people like Dave and Pat have decided that it’s not worth the risk to keep offering the information that they do. I know that when I was just starting out on my FIRE journey after paying off my house, their blogs were invaluable to me to glean information. It’s going to be a huge loss to people coming after us, such as my sons, who’ll be starved for specifically Australian content.

What I’m eating: African Peanut Stew.

I bought a vegetarian cookbook from Thermobexta 2 years ago and it had this recipe in it. I always wanted to try it but never got around to it. Last night was the night! It was delicious! Ryan27 had 2 friends around and they agreed. Everyone polished their plates.

Vego food is so cheap. I fed 5 adults for around $6.

I have all but one of her cookbooks. They saved me when Evan25 decided he was vegetarian a few years ago.

Who needs a good slap: Me.

I just realised that I forgot to eat lunch. No wonder I’m so hungry right now!

What I’m planning: Nothing.

It’s so relaxing.

What has made me smile: The podcast review of Evan25’s show.

Evan25 sent me the link to a review that a couple of guys did for their show. It’s a lovely thing to hear that your son is “a very charismatic guy”; has “a beautiful singing voice” and is “someone I could watch all day.”

Of course I agree with all of these comments. πŸ™‚

Dad joke of the day:

Wednesday W’s #13

What’s top of my mind: The mystery will be revealed today.

Yes, today is payday. By the time I get home, I’ll be able to log on and see how much money I’ve earned over the last two weeks. I hope the grand reveal will be worth it…

Where I’ve been: in the garden!

Yesterday I wasn’t called into work, so after breakfast I grabbed me some secatuers and went out to the garden. The tomato plants were in crying need of decimation, so I listened to a few podcasts and chopped and dropped. Over winter the shreds of the plants will rot away in the soil and the nutrients will be able to be accessed by the new crops I’ll plant in Spring. It’s not quick, but over time to creates the best soil.

The kids next door had some friends over so they were out in their yard, playing with their dog. It was lovely to hear their happy little voices as I worked. The sky was overcast at first, which was why I decided to go out there – less chance of sunburn. By the time the sun came out I’d cleared 2 wicking beds and was sporting a big blister on my finger, so it was definitely time to come inside.

Where I’m going: to a Maths class.

Yes, after lunch I’m down to ‘teach’ a Maths class.

We all know there’ll be no teaching going on from me… pity the poor kids if I tried!

What I’m watching: angelically good children in a music class.

They’re doing some quizzes about chords on their chromebooks. I know I’ve said it before, but the kids at this school are terrific.

What I’m reading: The second book about a gated community.

I finished one of the books I spoke about last week over lunch yesterday, so now I just have one to go. ‘Dirty Little Secret’s by Jo Spain was good – I enjoyed it. This other one? Not so much, but I’ll knock it over. I still have to ‘earn’ my rates back from the library, after all!

What I’m listening to: Casefile, The Other Half, Welcome to Nightvale and Mum’s Boppin’ Bangers.

It was a lovely day in the garden and sewing room yesterday. I was able to knock over lots of poddies. On the way into work this morning I was listening to Casefile, about the case of a cannibal in Germany.

(omg)

What I’m eating: Last night’s dinner.

It’s so nice to know that tonight’s dinner is already cooked. I made a Chicken Tikka Masala from Skinnymixers last night, knowing that I was going to be the only one home to eat it. I love this curry – it’s like having a party in your mouth. Tonight, there’s enough for all of us. I can take it easy when I get home.

Plus curries always taste better the second day. It also has a red capsicum in it that I grew with my own fair hands. Very satisfying.

Who needs a good slap: No one so far today!

The day is still young, though.

What I’m planning: Nothing.

Of course, I still have my long-term plans in place, but short-term? Nothing much. I have vague plots and pans for the veggie garden and how on Earth I’m going to get the crazy quilt with the 5,000 squares done, but that’s about it.

It’s nice to have free days ahead. It’s the very definition of freedom.

What has made me smile: Scout sleeping in the cat’s bed. (Photo at the top of the post.)

Many years ago, when we still had the cats, (Daphne and Maris, named for Niles’ wives in ‘Frasier’), I bought a dog bed and a cat bed. The dog bed is still used by Scout every night, but for years the cat bed just sat there. It was too expensive to throw away but not worth so much that it was worth the bother of trying to sell it.

Until I washed it and, as I was bringing it in off the line, I thought that Scout would probably use it if I put it on the couch.

Dachshunds love being burrowed under and into things, unlike Cavaliers who just like to pile up together. Daphne’s bed has been on the couch for 4 days and Scout loves it. She’s so happy, climbing into her nest. She’ll love it even more as winter sets in.

I remember Daphne curled up in it. Scout and Daphne were friends. It makes me smile.

Dad joke of the day:

Never buy flowers from a monk. Only you can stop florist friars.

Wednesday W’s #12.

What’s top of my mind: Phew!

The principal of the school is showing a group of dignitaries around the new campus. They came into my room, where naturally I’d written a Dad joke, (but not the Learning Intentions and Success Criteria – oops), and she read the joke at the bottom of this post aloud.

“I should have known I’d come into this room and you’d have a Dad joke on the board!” she said.

Then one of the men in the group asked if he could tell a Dad joke.

“Where do robots go for fun? The circuits.”

Where I’ve been: McClelland Park.

See my previous post.

Where I’m going: To my sewing room.

I finally started the quilt with over 5,00 tiny squares. It’s not difficult sewing, but I do need to keep my mind on the placement of each and every square. If I’m able to do 5 blocka a week, I should get it finished in a few months.

I’m already up to 3 blocks. Only about 87 to go. I’ll be finished in no time!

What I’m watching: Netflix.

I just finished season 2 of ‘Bridgerton’ and now I’m diving back into ‘Peaky Blinders.’ I had no idea that Peaky Blinders is based on real events. Ryan27 remarked that they cast the actors as looking very much like the real people, so I googled them.

I noticed that Netflix has released yet another season of ‘The Black List.’ I started watching this about a decade ago as my silly, junk tv secret pleaasure. I guess I’ll sign up for yet another season. I’ve been seeing what Raymond Reddington has been up to, right from the start. Can’t turn back now!

What I’m reading: 2 books with the same beginning.

I’ve borrowed an ebook and a regular book from my local library and I started both of them in the last couple of days. Both begin with a suspicious death in a gated community in prologues, then when the chapters start they backtrack to a few weeks before the murder/s.

I hope I’ll be able to keep the two plotlines separate in my head.

One is called ‘The Girl Beyond the Gate’ by Becca Day. The other novel is at home so I don’t know what it’s called.

I also read a thought-provoking piece on Strong Money Australia about the new laws in Australia regarding financial advice. It seems that there’s been a whole can of worms opened here.

What I’m listening to: Aussie Firebug.

I tend to only listen to podcasts when I’m either driving or gardening. Aussie Firebug has a monster-length poddie episode with the Motley Fool guy. This’ll keep me going for a while!

This morning I was listening to it and he had a number of things to say about the property market. David28 and Izzy are looking at their options at the moment, so I found this interesting.

I couldn’t help but think that, given the post I referred to above, that this poddie ep was even more interesting…

What I’m eating: Red Leicester cheese in my bread roll.

Normally I just slice off some tasty cheese, but I saw the Red Leicester in the fridge this morning ad thought, ‘LUXURY!’

So today at lunch I’ll feel just a little but fancy.

After all, it’s the litle things in life that give you a buzz.

Who needs a good slap: The teacher who gave her year 8 class a DOUBLE lesson in grammar when she was away.

I’m good, but no one on Earth can make that lesson appealing.

Ugh.

What I’m planning: Nothing at the moment.

Just living my life, baby, the best way I know how.

What has made me smile: Dad’s Surprise Birthday Party.

My sister organised us all to pop in at our parents’ place at 3 PM Sunday for champagne, scones and birthday cake. Mum knew it was going to happen but it was a total surprise to Dad.

It was lovely to see the brothers and their cousins catching up. Dad was in his element.

Dad joke of the Day:

Prison may be just a word to you, but for some people it’s a whole sentence.

Wednesday W’s #11.

7 dwarves going off to work.

What’s top of my mind: It’s like riding a bike!

I’m in a year 9 class, writing this while they’re doing their work. I’ve been having a lovely time, running into year 9 kids who were my wriggly puppy classes in year 7 and catching up with other teachers.

“I NEVER thought I’d see you here again!” said one woman. I laughed and said that it was Tom30’s wrestling videos that have driven me to it.

I’m at the new campus, which has just under 1,000 year 8s and 9s. It’ll take a few days to work out where everything is, but it’s a nice place to work. Everyone seems really happy.

Where I’ve been: in the Staffroom.

It was lunchtime. I caught up with a few friends and heard how everyone was going. There was even a spare desk to put my bag on. Luxury!

Where I’m going: Mum and Dad’s place.

After work I have to drop in on my parents to pick up some medical stuff that they hired after Dad has his hip replacement. I’ll return it for them.

It’s nice that I’m in the area already instead of having to take an extra trip.

What I’m watching: a boy trying to drill a hole through his ruler with a pair of scissors.

Yeah, I don’t know why, either.

What I’m reading: Gwendy’s Final Task.

This is a Stephen King novel in a collaboration with someone else. I’m enjoying it, though I’m sure I’d be ripping through it faster if I’d read the first two in this trilogy. Annoyingly, the library has the first, but not the second one.

Just… why? Ugh.

What I’m listening to: A couple of boys playing Fortnite instead of reading through their slideshow on circuits and electrical currents.

I’ve given them the death stare, then mentioned that Fortnite “is so two years ago.”

They’re back on task now.

What I’m eating: Home-made bread roll with home-grown lettuce, ham and cheese.

The ham and cheese aren’t home-grown, just to be clear.

Who needs a good slap: The neighbours who are complaining about theachers parking in their streets.

The Government, in their infinite wisdom, assigned 9 car parking spots to a school with over 50 teachers. I was warned to stay away from certain streets, which meant that I probably got my 10,000 steps before I even entered the building.

What I’m planning: which Dad joke to put up on the board when period 6 starts.

So many options…

What has made me smile: Max.

Max walked in late and stopped, staring at me.

“Where do I know you from?” he asked. To be fair, I’m wearing a mask and I’ve stopped dying my hair.

“I taught you English in year 7, you doofus!” I said.

He asked if I’d been to Antarctica, then when he went to his seat I heard him say, “She’s only the best English teacher ever!”

Dad joke of the day:

What is it called when you have Grandma on speed dial?

Instagram.

Wednesday W’s #10.

Ross yelling "Pivot" on the stairs.

What’s top of my mind: The Pivot.

Oof. I love the freedom of retirement. God, how I love it. I wrote about how I knocked back a tutoring job a few weeks ago and it was absolutely the right decision.

Well, yesterday I went into work and filled out all the forms to apply for work as a CRT (casual relief teacher.) I KNOW!!! What’s going on? Have I run mad?

Am I filled with the joy at the thought of being around the kids again and enabling them to gain education?

Not particularly.

But I’m not hating the idea either. This deserves its own blog post on another day, so I’ll tell you in more detail later why I’ve decided to pivot and earn a little extra money.

Where I’ve been: Costco.

When I take the car out, I like to layer several trips in one – especially now that petrol prices have gone through the roof. So I did a big circle, going to Spotlight, my parents’ lace, the school, Costco and the library.

It was a Tuesday, so I didn’t think CC would be busy. When I drove up, the petrol section was jammed with cars, the queues spilling out onto the street and going way back. I’ve never seen it so packed, even on the days before public holidays. Inside the warehouse, it was very busy.

I went there because I was running low on the raw meat patties I feed the Little Woofs on top of their grain-free dry food – also from Costco. The dry food comes from the States, the patties from Queensland. What with the war and the floods, I thought I’d better make sure that we had enough for a while.

Ryan27 asked me why. I said, “Global supply chains aren’t an issue – until suddenly they are.”

While I was there I picked up 2 big bags of flour, some mince, a couple of slabs of tinned tomatoes and some sugar; all of which we’ve been warned we may be running short of in the coming months. Costco didn’t have any Bakers Flour, so I had to settle for Plain flour instead. After I got home I went to Aldi and picked up more pasta and rolled oats – again, because wheat products etc will be getting very pricey, thanks to Putin. The pasta packets had gone up 20c, I noticed. There were significant gaps in the meat section.

Cauliflowers were $8 each at Aldi. Yikes! Toilet paper was very limited at both Costco and Aldi, with gaps on other shelves being common. Someone on the Simple Savings forum observed that electrical goods such as washers, dryers and fridges would probably be in short supply due to the floods in Queensland and NSW. Imagine the thousands of appliances that would be wrecked and would need to be replaced? I was so thankful I bought Evan25’s new washing machine when I did.

Pandemic, floods and Putin. What a brave interesting new world we live in.

Backyard beach.

Where I’m going: To the beach.

The Little Woofs deserve a treat.

What I’m watching: Shameless season 11.

My sister put me onto Shameless years ago. I can’t believe they’re up to season 11. I’m still enjoying it.

Of course, I’m also watching Killing Eve, Ru Paul’s Drag Race, Survivor (both the US and Australian seasons) and I have many far more worthy shows waiting in my watch lists. I guess I’m in a frivolous frame of mind right now.

What I’m reading: Catriona Ward.

Stephen King recommended Catriona Ward on Twitter a few days ago, so I jumped online and put a couple of her novels on hold. I’ve read her first novel, Rawblood, and her third, The Last House on Needless Street.

Wow. I’ve been blown away by how original these plots are. As, you know, I read a lot of books, but these two have been living on and on in my mind. I loved them – couldn’t leave them alone. Highly recommend.

What I’m listening to: Jeffrey snoring.

It’s a WHOLE lot better than hearing the stupid wrestling shows that Tom30 likes to listen to when he works from home. Kill me now.

What I’m eating: Pizza again!

My cousin is dropping by for lunch, so we’re having pizza. This new pizza oven has a definite learning curve on how to launch the pizzas in. I ‘accidentally’ made calzones the third time we used it, so we’re experimenting with different doughs and levels of toppings.

So far, using a bit of polenta on the base seems to be doing the trick. The polenta acts like little ball bearings and it helps to roll the pizza off the paddle and into the oven.

Who needs a good slap: Apart from Putin?

No one.

What I’m planning: when I’m going to give my cousin the quilt I’ve made for her.

Before or after lunch?

I hope she likes it.

Cavaliers sleeping by the front door.

What has made me smile: The dogs.

As I said before, yesterday I went out for most of the day, When I got home Tom30, who was working from home, told me that the dogs had spent the whole day waiting for me to get back. When I raised an eyebrow and said, “The WHOLE day?” he showed me a photo he took at midday.

Scout had the brains to wait for me on the couch, where it’s comfy, but the cavaliers stayed right at the door for the whole time.

I love my Little Woofs.

Dad joke of the day:

I don’t often tell dad jokes but when I do he laughs.

Wednesday W’s #9.

What’s top of my mind: The rhubarb.

Call myself a frugal gardener, yet I bought apples a week ago to make rhubarb and apple, but I still haven’t walked out to the back yard to cut the rhubarb.

That’s it! As soon as I press ‘publish’ on this post, I’m going out there to get this job done.

Where I’ve been: Mum and Dad’s place.

Yesterday I drove down to Mum and Dad’s to take Dad to his surgeon’s rooms for an appointment after his hip replacement 2 weeks ago. After that, I went to Aldi to do their shopping.

It’s strange to think that if I hadn’t have made the geoarbitrage move down here in 2015, I would have been in a classroom and he would’ve had to have taken a taxi there. Mum gets dizzy spells so doesn’t drive anymore, so until Dad’s hip heals, they’re essentially stuck at home.

It’s a strange thing to see your parents with their wings clipped.

Where I’m going: Apparently, to the back yard.

See above.

What I’m watching: The wind in the trees.

It’s a sparkling day today and there’s a beautiful breeze. I love how this house catches the wind – just open the front and back doors and the breeze flows right through. Luxury!

What I’m reading: Same as last week.

Yes – very unusually for me, I’m taking more than a week to read a book! I’m still on Cloud Cuckoo Land and I only have 20 pages to go. I’m loving how all of the different times are entwining together.

What I’m listening to: Mum’s Boppin’ Bangers.

I’ve started cutting up the fabric for the quilt with over 5,000 squares. I whinged about the cost of the specialised ruler I bought to help me with this, but now I’m absolutely LOVING it. $100 well spent! It’s allowing me to fly through this stage, because I can cut 3 layers of fabric with absolute accuracy at a time. That’s 163 squares at a time. Today I just have the ‘lights’ to cut up, and then I’ll be done.

I’m so appreciative that Ryan27 shared a Spotify account with me. Cutting squares can be tedious but being able to belt out a song as I work really helps. Every now and then on ‘Mum’s Boppin’ Bangers’ a song will come on that I swear I haven’t heard for decades, yet I still know all the words. Loving it.

What I’m eating: A homemade bread roll.

For breakfast, with butter and peanut butter. Yum.

Who needs a good slap: Me, for eating that breakfast.

What I’m planning: A road trip.

May as well.

What has made me smile: The homemade bread roll with butter and peanut butter.

So simple, yet it tasted so good.

Dad joke of the day:

What word in the dictionary is spelt incorrectly?

Incorrectly.

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