Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

Wednesday W’s #4.

What’s top of my mind: How natural the retired lifestyle seems.

Teachers went back to work last Friday and now all of the kids are back. Of course, I can’t help imagining what my days would look like if I was still working, but do I miss the job?


Usually, when in previous years I’d be parking my car in Hall st and walking into work, I’m unfolding my yoga mat and lifting the Little Woofs into my bed to keep them out of the way. Whereas last year it felt a bit illicit and naughty to be lounging around in my pjs when the 8:50 AM period 1 bell would be ringing, now in my second year it feels natural to be in a whole new routine.

I can – and do – picture what the days would be like, because I know the rhythms of the school day so well. But my current routines and rhythms are so carefree and relaxed; there’s no way I’d want to go back.

Where I’ve been: Morning tea at my sister’s.

Well, I also sneaked in January’s Little Adventure on the last day, but yesterday my sister asked if I’d like to drive down and see Mum and Dad at hers. It’s been a routine for them that every Tuesday they drive down to the peninsula to have some time with Kate. The time of day varies, depending on what suits them all.

Kate says that instead of ‘Tuesdays with Morrie‘, it’s Tuesdays with Mummy.

I haven’t had much of a taste of this aspect of retired life, as most of last year we were in lockdown after lockdown. It was nice to drive down, listening to a podcast, and then spend a couple of easy hours with the family.

Where I’m going: Evan25 and Jenna’s new digs.

My baby and his beloved have taken the next step – moving out into a place ON THEIR OWN. No longer part of a larger household group; now they are the household. They’ve found a flat above a pizza shop, sadly in the west, which is miles away. Ryan27 and I are going over there on Friday to help them move.

What I’m watching: Australian Survivor.

I’ve been watching ‘Survivor’ since the very first episode of the very first season. I’ve watched Jeff Probst, the host, get older over the years and along the way we named our Jeffrey after him. In a nice surprise, Australian Survivor makes the US show look like they’re a bunch of babies. It’s far longer in duration and the conditions are harder. Jonathan LaPaglia does a really good job of hosting, so I’m happily settling into a new season. I’m watching it with a friend from work, so Alice and I text our thoughts while we’re watching. It’s fun.

What I’m reading: Go Tell The bees that I am Gone.

I wrote about this a few days ago. This is a long book with small font – I’ve been reading it for 5 days and I’m still only 628 pages in. I’m loving it though – I’ll be sad when I finish.

What I’m listening to: Shandee’s Story.

This podcast is from the same team that brought us ‘Teacher’s Pet‘ a couple of years ago. ‘Teacher’s Pet’ resulted in the re-opening of a cold case and the arrest of the missing woman’s husband for murder. Obviously, they’re hoping for a similar outcome with this cold case investigation. It’s interesting, though poor Shandee’s murder was pretty gruesome. I hope someone who knows something comes forward.

By the way, if anyone is struggling with how awful Apple’s podcast site is now, a few months ago I switched my podcast listening to Overcast. It’s free and it works beautifully. Hope this helps someone else. 🙂

What I’m eating: Pasta with home-grown ingredients.

Ryan27 is having a friend over for lunch so I decided to make a simple vegetarian pasta. It’s so deeply satisfying to have so many ingredients from the garden available to include – even frozen zucchini from last year! The only thing not pictured in the photo at the start of this post was a healthy few leaves of silverbeet. We’ll be able to feel this dish doing us good when we eat it – most of the ingredients were alive less than an hour ago, after all.

It’s cooking now and it smells so good.

Who needs a good slap: No one.

Apart from anti-vaxxers and incompetent pollies, of course!

What I’m planning: A new quilt. For me, this time.

I’ve made over 40 quilts in my time and I’ve kept only 5 of them. When I look at quilting blogs, I’m amazed by how many quilts people have made and then stuffed into cupboards, rarely to see the light of day. Seems like a waste to me.

If I put umpteen hours of my time and energy into making something, I want it to be used. Plus, I really enjoy the process of making a quilt for someone else. As I’m sewing, I think about them a lot and it becomes a deeply personal gift.

Let’s just say that I’ll never make a quilt for someone I don’t like!

At the moment I’m in the middle of making a quilt for a friend who lost her Mum, but when that’s over I’ll be learning how to build a design wall and then putting it to use with a quilt for my lounge room. I’ve seen a design and it’s amazing, so I’m looking forward to tackling it. It’ll seem strange to make something that’ll stay with me. The last time I did that was in March 2011 with The Reading Quilt.

What has made me smile: Talking to Evan25 and Jenna.

They picked up the keys last night and moved into their new space. So far they have a mattress on the floor and are surrounded by boxes. They gave me a ring around 5 PM and we talked for ages. They’re just so very happy, so much in love and are very excited to be starting this new chapter.

When you have kids, you’re aware that they’ll be moving out into the world without you and they have to make their own path. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to see Evan25, (and David28, for that matter), so very happy.

It’s a beautiful thing.

Dad joke of the day:

I just swallowed a tin of paint.

The doctor says I’m okay, but I feel like I’ve dyed a little inside. 


  1. Debbie

    Thanks for the recommendation about Overcast…. must give it a try. I also don’t like the recent changes to Apple’s podcast app.
    I also really enjoy your weekly updates! Keep em coming.

    • FrogdancerJones

      Overcast has been great. NOT like Apple – I hated the changes they made. A bit like the Apple TV+ site. WHAT a dog’s breakfast that is!

  2. Budget Life List

    I feel like my questions outweigh my comments but what is “pollies”? Sounds like your winning this Wednesday gig!

    • FrogdancerJones

      Haha! Aussies always shorten words and add an ‘ie’ for good measure.
      For example: ‘poddies” = podcasts; ‘pollies’ = politicians, ciggies = cigarettes and – just to be a little different – ‘Maccas’ = McDonalds.

      • Budget Life List

        Interesting, your language is as colorful as the Great Barrier Reef!

  3. Lisa Kelly

    OMG how good is the Shandee podcast! Teacher’s Pet was one of the best I’ve listened to and boy have I listened to alot but Shandee has really reeled me in. I can highly recommend another Australian one that is ongoing at the moment called Who Killed Bob? about a Hobart murder from around 2010. I think you would enjoy it.

    Thanks for the recommendation for Overcast. I have been finding the Apple app soooo frustrating.

    I love the idea of a reading quilt, something to ponder!

    Great update as always.

    • FrogdancerJones

      If you like cld case poddies then ‘Trace’ is another good one.
      Personally, when I listen to true crime poddies like ‘Casefile’, I prefer when the murderer is found. It makes me feel more comfortable!

      • Lisa Kelly

        Sorry for my late reply – for some reason I don’t get an email notifying me that you’ve responded. I’ll make sure to check back more often.

        I too enjoyed Trace – if you like American ones the first season of Up and Vanished is excellent.

        I agree that there is definitely some comfort in knowing the killer is already caught.

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