Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

Wednesday W’s #82: BUSY.

What’s top of my mind: I’m throwing a party!

While I was away, I had a birthday, David 29 has turned into David30, Evan26 is now Evan27 and Mum had her 83rd. So, because I’m an idiot, I invited around 30 people over to mine to celebrate.

This of course means that the house and garden are in for some serious work.

I’ve had it painted and the shutters have been installed. The back verandah area looked AWFUL. So Ryan28 and I have been sweeping, cleaning, power-washing, and calling in a hard rubbish collection to get rid of things that we don’t need anymore.

I’ve spent a LOT of money on pots and plants to soften up the area and make it inviting. I’ve done the big things for this party – I’ll add some flowers with Christmassy colours for Christmas Day – plus the rest o the shutters will be installed by then.

David30 has come around for 3 nights after work to help Ryan28 finish off the big wall unit for the Man Cave. He also hung many pictures that have waited years for a home. Remember the propaganda posters I bought from North Korea? I went there in April 2018. Yes, 5 years ago. They now have a place on my wall.

Busy, busy, busy. Spendy, spendy, spendy too. But I figure that what I’m doing now will pay dividends for years to come. I want to be proud of the house I live in – especially as now I’m retired, I’ll be looking at it all day.

Where I’m going: probably back to Bunnings.

The photo was taken yesterday, when I was driving home from Daicos Nursery and hoping I wouldn’t have to reverse anywhere, because I couldn’t see out of my back mirror.

I have a carful of pots and potting mix at the moment that I bought at Bunnings today, but I’m sure to need something else before Sunday.

Where I’ve been: to see the kids’ shows at the Melbourrne Fringe Festival.

Evan27 got a Judge’s Pick award, which was a really nice thing to happen.

I’m so proud of these two. It’s been three years since their uni degrees – Evan27 in Acting and Jenna in Musical Theatre – and they’re still writing, creating and performing their work.

We saw both shows on the same night. Evan27’s show finished 30 minutes before Jenna’s started. It was a mad rush to get from one venue to the next. An ex-Theatre Studies student grabbed me in the bar after Evan27’s show ended and I would have LOVED to catch up, but I hugged him, said, “I’ve got to get to Jenna’s show!” and left. Yikes.

What I’m reading: Nothing… yet.

But I saw a lot of books in Ireland and in Target today that I want to read, so I’ve photographed them and have put them on hold at the library.

Won’t be long now!

What I’m watching: Still catching up on tv shows.

It’s going to take me weeks to get back on track. I enjoyed the first 3 episodes of Frasier, though.

What I’m listening to: Evan27’s podcast.

I’ve been driving a lot to nurseries and carpet places and Bunnings, so I’m finally up to this week’s episode. I’ve caught up on this and on The Block. I feel such a sense of accomplishment.

What I’m eating: Tuna Mornay.

An oldie but a goodie. David30 is coming over after work tonight to hopefully finish off the wall unit, so I thought I’d make him a comfort food that is PACKED with lactose. Izzy can’t eat anything like this, so he can sneak a meal in.

What I’m planning: the party and beyond.

I’ve ordered a carpet to be made into a rug for my lounge room. Kate was right – it’s SO much cheaper than buying a rug, plus I wanted a 3m X 3m rug which I was never going to find.

Unfortunately, it’ll be ready next week, which is after the party. It’s ok though – the Christmas day people will see it in all its glory.

(I just hope the dogs don’t throw up on it or something…)

I’ve been looking for ideas for my house and front verandah. This place is going to be amazing to live in. I can feel it in my waters.

Who needs a thumbs-up: The middle boys.

David30 and Ryan28 have worked their behinds off to help me this week. As I type this, Ryan28 is out power-washing the bricks in the backyard, while David30 is coming over for the third night in a row after work to get the Man Cave finished.

They’re good people. I’m glad I made them.

What has made me smile: seeing plans come to fruition.

See those propaganda posters? I knew they’d look good together.

Once all the tools have gone, you’ll see Molly Malone from Ireland with her bright red coat standing there on the shelf. As of yesterday there’s a plant by the door. It all looks fantastic.

This room will one day be full of art from my travels.

Dad joke of the day:


  1. freddy smidlap

    happy birthday!

    the house looks fantastic. in the u.s. tuna mornay is called tuna noodle casserole. it’s a classic here too. bon appetit.

  2. sandyg61

    You will feel like you have a new house for your next chapter.
    I photograph covers of books I like as well.

    • FrogdancerJones

      It’s handy. I still have hours of my Ireland holiday still to come when I get stuck into the books I photographed in Dublin.

  3. Jan

    Happy belated birthday! The posters look good and the blinds. We seem to be at Bunnings at least once or twice a week since we retired.

    • FrogdancerJones

      I think I might be going back there today!

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