Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

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:


  1. Loretta

    Awww that was a lovely post! So glad you got your daughter. Love reading about your life FD.

    • FrogdancerJones

      We’ll have to catch up again. I really enjoyed our blogmeet. 🙂

      • Loretta

        For sure! Text me!!

  2. FIRE for One

    I’ve been wondering when we’d find out your daughter’s name – Georgia is a lovely name.

    • FrogdancerJones

      Yes, I’m very happy that this is where we’ve landed.

  3. Onevikinggirl

    Georgia ’Jones’ could be a heroine in an Agatha Christie novel, great choice!

  4. JC

    I often read your blog but this one unexpectedly made me sit up straighter! I just booked an appointment at the US consulate in Melbourne as I too have been to a listed country. Do you know if a printed passport photo is needed to take to the interview? I’ve read differing instructions on this and I don’t really want to pay $ for this if not needed.

    • FrogdancerJones

      Yes, you do need a photo. Be warned – it has to be a different size to the normal Australian passport photo size.
      It was the Australia Post woman in the post office taking my photo who knew this. Google it – I can’t remember the exact size it needs to be. 🙂

    • FrogdancerJones

      It was only $22 to get the photos, so it’s not a great expense.

      • JC


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