Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

Wednesday W’s #76.

What’s top of my mind
: I have my house back!

The painters have finished the job, packed their things, and are gone. We had to wait a day to let the paint dry, then on Sunday we were able to move things back to where they belong.

Without having anything touch the skirting boards, of course!

When we started, Ryan28 asked the $64,000 question: “Are you going to get rid of the bookcases or will we put the books back in them?”

I have 3 large bookcases. Two were bought back before A and I were even married, so they’ve been with me for around 40 years. Yikes! They’re pine and are very dark and very heavy.

The other one is a dark brown Billy bookcase from Ikea that I bought when we moved into the old house, roughly 27 years ago.

I think I’ve had my money’s worth.

Now that the house has crisp, white trims and ceilings, I’m getting crisp, white shelving for both the sewing room and the Man Cave. It’ll solve the lack of storage this house struggles with and it’ll lift the rooms.

Ah, it’s only money…!

Where I’ve been: Moving furniture.

Thank goodness I have Ryan28 living with me. We got almost the whole house back to normal in an afternoon. No way I could’ve done that on my own.

On another note: I thought we were pretty minimalistic, seeing as this is a house without a heap of storage. Turns out we have quite a few things that, once unearthed, will be making their way out into the world to find new homes.

Where I’m going: to the op shop.

There are a couple of boxes of books and knick-knacks in the back of my car, ready to be dropped off. I’ve decided that it’s time for my book collection to go through a culling. I do that every few years, but with my library challenge to earn my council rates back, I haven’t been buying books for the last 4 years.

Still, I’ve noticed a few books lurking innocently beside the Jane Austens that I’ll never read again. Time to release them.

What I’m reading: Lenny Marks Gets Away With Murder – Kerryn Mayne

I finished this novel on the weekend and I absolutely loved it. This is Kerryn Mayne’s debut novel, and if this is any indication of what she’s going to produce, I can’t wait to see what she writes next.

It’s set in the Dandenongs, which are just up the road from Melbourne. The plot is engaging and the protagonist, though flawed, is someone who you can really get behind. It’s a page-turner.

I thoroughly recommend this book.

What I’m watching: year 8 kids finishing a project.

They’re a geography class and they’ve done mapping overlays, where they trace a map of Australia on a couple of pieces of tracing paper and then put different information on them.

The base map has population; the next map has rainfall distribution and the third map has geographic info, the most important being the Great Dividing Range.

I’m learning a lot by staying one step ahead of the kids. Today I learned what a ‘Rain Shadow’ is.

What I’m listening to: people gossiping in the staff common room.

Football is really important to these people. I don’t understand it.

But then, I’m a Carlton supporter. For the last few decades, it’s been easier just to pretend that footie doesn’t exist…

What I’m eating: Leftovers for lunch!

I made a really nice chicken casserole on Saturday and there was enough left over for meals for all 3 days I’m at work. Fortunate Frogdancer strikes again with another frugal win!

I haven’t bought my lunh for the entire time I’ve been teaching here. As I say to kids who ask me for money when I’m doing canteen duty, ” I come here to earn money, not spend it!”

What I’m planning: A trip next year.

A friend from work is taking Long Service Leave next year and has asked me if I want to go to South America with her. It definitely wasn’t what I was planning, but I’m thinking about it.

Some of the people from my Antarctica trip extended their travels after we came back. Their photos and videos were impressive.

Who needs a high five: My painters.

They finished my whole house in just under two weeks. They installed two door stoppers for the back bathroom and toilet free of charge, so the doors wouldn’t bash into the walls. They repaired two doors that weren’t working properly, modified a door handle so it would fit onto my pantry door, AND when I noticed a paint drip that had dried on one of the walls after they’d packed up and finished, he came back three days later to fix it.

I’ve stopped feeling guilty about getting a painter in to do the job. They did it far quicker and far more efficiently than I would have.

What has made me smile: The fresh new rooms.

When I first moved to The Best House in Melbourne 7 years ago, I loved that the paint was the same colour everywhere. It was a change from every house that I’ve lived in before.

Now? I’m LOVING the clean contract of the different colours.

It’s also a nice little luxury to have the skirts painted in gloss, so I can clean them easily. It’s been awful having everything in matte.

Dad joke of the day:


  1. Josie

    I have gone on several trips that my sisters planned which were not even on my radar and enjoyed them all tremendously. I would definitely go on that South American trip with your friend!

    • FrogdancerJones

      Now we’re thinking about an Alaskan cruise!

      • sandyg61

        G and I loved our Alaskan cruise and it was full of highlights. More wonders in Glacier Bay.

        • FrogdancerJones

          I feel like I’ve just come back from glaciers after Antarctica. But I guess in 2024 it won’t seem so recent.

  2. Katie from Q

    I’ve had well travelled people tell me that Costa Rica is their favourite destination; I’d love to get there one day. I’ve been bingeing Living big in a tiny house on YouTube and feeling very inspired to declutter and reconsider storage – it’s a real eye opener about how poorly we use space and let our stuff own us. It’s amazing what a fresh paint job does. Our house is all white but my tiny home bingefest has me thinking about creating a dark room – not sure which one. Might be the toilet – start small!

  3. Maureen Carreau

    What, no pictures of the finished painting work?

    • FrogdancerJones

      I’ve decided to wait until the shutters are installed.

  4. sandyg61

    What a great job by your painters.
    Go wherever your heart (or your friends) take you. There is so much to see.

  5. Mrs. ETT

    I had to take a moment to get the joke in the picture at the beginning of this post, but when I did I nearly snorted my coffee! Thanks for the laugh.

    • FrogdancerJones

      I was feeling ‘blah’ at the thought of getting up off the couch to get ready for work. This has bucked me up! 🙂

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