Wednesday, 5 June 2013

My decluttering efforts - I've shifted out of first gear finally!!!

Been a bit busy the past couple of weeks since we returned from holidays...  I'll post about holidays another time I think, but tonight I want to share with you the efforts that I've been making in the past couple of weeks with the help of some Help-x people...

In case you don't know what Help-x is, it's basically Help Exchange.  You give free room and board to a person or persons, and in return they give you 4 - 6 hours of work for free each day.

We had an absolutely delightful French gay couple, who cleaned our outside patio, and did a lot of sanding and re-shellacking of my silky oak dining room table.  Fabien was a wonderful cook we discovered too!!!! 

We followed the boys really quickly with Laura also from France, who was very young, but boy she also did a great job!  I put her to work cleaning out the kitchen cupboards, washing windows etc., and that's how my decluttering efforts got off the ground....

Here's a couple of pic's....

The after shot of under the sink after Laura had attacked it....  I'm secretly pleased there's no before shot, because it was most terrible!!!

Ditto as above for the "crap" drawer...

This is the almost before shot of the desk tonight.  I had taken a bit off the desk already, as is pictured below.... 

I spread it all out over the kitchen bench.  Look closely and you'll find my dinner in amongst it.  Shitty day at work so comfort food of baked spud with sour cream :)

The end result...  Yes, that's a mighty pile of filing, but I will be sorting that in about 4 weeks at tax time.... 
What I have found with this decluttering and cleaning caper is that once you're on a roll, it's easier to keep being on a roll.  I know you've probably heard it a zillion times before, but just starting, making that first little step, is what works.  It's working for me, and I'd have to say that I'd be one of the hardest nuts to get going.  However, now that I'm off the mark, I need to keep travelling.... 
Holiday photo's soon, promise!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Wow... how time files.

Yep - I've posted a bit about this in the past few months.


In the last post, we spent the weekend on a houseboat.  In the pictures was Graham, my stepfather.  He has grey hair..... from that I'm sure you'll identify him.  on Thursday last week he was diagnosed with Bowel Cancer....

His symptoms were that he was tired and constipated.... tired because he turned out to be anaemic... constipated because he was bleeding into his bowel.

If you have an abnormal body, for more than a reasonable time (a week or two or three - depending on what it is.....) go and see your doctor.  Graham now has a CT scan complete, and tomorrow sees a surgeon.  We are so desperately praying it's caught early. 

He and mum were due to come on our cruise departing Monday.  Don't think it's going to happen, but who knows..... 

I've not been touched by cancer before in my close family.  I've done lots of fund raising for the Qld Cancer Council, and known lots of people who are touched by cancer.  Kinda brings it home though.....

We head off on our holiday on Monday 8th April.... Back Monday 6th May. 

Don't know if I'll blog.  Who knows.  Feeling really flat at the moment and probably not being as kind to myself as I could be. 

Sunday, 3 March 2013

The rains came!!!!

And boy, didn't it rain!!!

Our drought broke on the Australia Day long weekend.  In just 4 days, 544mm of rain fell from the sky via our rain gauge.  Yep - more than half a metre!!!

Along with it came intense winds on one day, flooding both locally and in Gympie where I work, and some people in my town without power for 5 days.  We were fortunate - we lost power for only 18 hours, and we do have a generator, so just as we had decided to unpack it and get it organised, on came the power!

Gympie did not fare well - they had a 21.3 metre flood, and then just this past week have had an 18.5 metre flood.  I so feel for the businesses up Mary Street and on River Road that have been inundated.  It's terribly terribly difficult, and even though the local Gympie community bands together and supports each other, there are many businesses who will not open again.

Do you recall the Traveston Dam debacle?  One of the reasons that the dam was stopped was due to the endangered lung fish that inhabits the Mary River that flows through Gympie....  Check this picture out of one of the carparks near Mary Street...

Photo: A friendly local rescues a lungfish from a flooded Gympie car park.

Do you remember the crocheted ripple blanket that I have been making for Ken's nieces' baby?  Bubs was due to arrive this week sometime, however arrived about 4 weeks ago now, which was good as mum is about 5'2" and dad... well, he's 6'7"....  Baby was never going to go full term!!

Anyway, the gorgeous little soul arrived, a little girl, Gracie Elizabeth.  Woo-hoo!!!

Yesterday I managed to finish off my cot ripple blanket.  It was inspired by Lucy's pattern over at the Attic.  I have done mine in 8 ply Bendigo Cottons, it is just sooooooooooooooooo soft and yummy!  I hope they all like it!!!


Last weekend it was mum's 70th birthday, so we hired a houseboat in the Noosa River & went away.  She didn't know about it, although she was a little suspicious that something was going on when they were running late and instructed to meet us at the Noosa Marina!!!  All was good though and we had a fantastic weekend...


Well - my chook pen awaits my attention... it's flooded, and the chookies are wandering around in mood and slush.  It's not going to be nice, but they give us such gorgeous eggs every day, we have to have responsibility to keep them nice too.  Off to get my gum boots on!!!!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Summer ramblings of a hot woman!!!

Phew – gosh it’s been so hot!!!

My poor little plants that I planted in my herb garden got frizzled, so we had to get out there with some shadecloth and help them along...  they’re doing well now, and the added bonus of putting them under the shadecloth is that the chickens haven’t been able to get in there and dig, dig, dig as chickens do!  The plants haven’t needed as much water either, as the evaporation is much less...

I can hear the ground almost screaming out for rain... the grass is dying, big trees are dying, and the birds and other animals are also suffering.  I’ve put out some grain for the birds, and I have a large bowl of cold water under the back patio for the chooks when they visit.  We seem to be the visiting spot for all the chooks in the neighbourhood, as they all get under the patio to shelter from the heat of the day. 

On the other hand, when the rains do finally come, I am looking forward to seeing the garden burst forth into life.  The garden out from the front door/ensuite is now looking fantastic, and the rest I’m sure will be just as beautiful when it gets some rain into it.  Going to need to buy some more plants sometime soon...

Ken is doing well, he’s back at work and operating effectively.  Can’t wait for his brain to spring into gear and him to start remembering stuff....  it’s difficult when you have a grown adult who needs supervision like a small child at times...  But – we’re getting there and that’s the main thing!!!

Heading off this weekend to the coast – it’s Lindsay’s baby shower on Sunday!!!  Should be loads of fun – I’m looking forward to it.  I might even be able to catch up with another couple of friends, Tracy at the Psychic Fair, and Lesley from SS who is visiting from up north...

Ahhhhh....  gotta love a weekend!  Particularly seeing as last weekend I did nothing.  Zilch, zippo, nada, nothing.  I lay on the couch under the aircon and snoozed.... not very practical!  Good for the soul though...

Thursday, 3 January 2013

I enjoy Facebook, but some days....

Boy – are there some interesting people out there!  Let’s just take today....  Actually – let’s just take the past hour or so!!! 

A young friend has posted some things on her page which are written WAY beyond her years.  To me, it’s really obvious that it’s her mother that’s writing these things in the hopes of stirring up the father...  They separated about 18 months ago and the mother seems to be delighting in using the children as pawns.

One friend is upset because their Centrelink wasn’t paid as they were overseas.  They have to prove they are back in the country in order to get it reinstated.  One person comments that “most people on welfare don’t go overseas”, just saying.  Person replies back “it’s not welfare – it’s child care payment”, and has to be reminded that child care payment IS welfare.

Pizza Hut is advertising “the search for the next stuffed crust pizza filling”.  Sausage rolls v’s chicken nuggets....  now – that’s healthy!!!

A friend’s status:  “My 70cm flatty (Flathead Fish) caught and released this arvo” – complete with picture of her kissing it (I loved this one!!)

Mozzie traps on Grass Roots’ status, a young relative who’s had a great morning out with his girl, another friend with a picture of her cardinal vine flowers that a Blue Faced Honeyeater is enjoying, yet another friend whose cat is waiting patiently on the table for his dinner, a recipe for Jelly Cakes from Stay At Home Mum. 

ABC News Radio is advertising that the QLD Government are considering electoral reforms, including scrapping of compulsory voting, and finally, from a friend who loves to try and win stuff, an advertisement for a new site “”, and finally, the piece de resistance.... “not everything that pops into your head needs to be shared on Facebook”. 

What is it about social media that encourages people to spew forth every thought that ever popped into their mind?  What is it that makes them type before they think?  Or, far worse than that, post every imaginable detail about their life online, laid out bare for the entire world to see???

Don’t get me wrong – I love Facebook....  but it’s so, well, “out there”.  So many people can share what you post, and so quickly, that your chances of any sort of anonymity are almost zilch.  Even blogging puts it out there, although in a much less “open” way. 

What is it that allows people to use terrible language, swear, carry on and put other people down? 

Have you ever pondered this?  Or am I being too deep today???

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

2013 – wow, it’s here already???

It’s funny – I can remember sitting down to write my review of 2011...  now I’m thinking back on what I’ve done in 2012!!!  (FYI – the review of 2011 is not a post that is up on my blog any more, I have it hidden now).

So – what have I accomplished in 2012?

·         I’ve done a bit of decluttering...
·         I’ve changed the way I do things around the home – more quality, home made things rather than buying what I need
·         I understand what it’s like to have someone who can’t look after themselves in the house, and learnt that it’s okay to call on others for help
·         I’ve spent a lot of time on myself...  crochet, sewing, cooking – all the things I love doing.  It’s been worth every minute!
·         We’ve spent a bit of time away camping and enjoying our neighbours’ company
·         I’ve been true to myself

The last one has been the hardest, but also the most rewarding.  I haven’t done anything I truly didn’t want to, or that went against my values.  Of course, I haven’t wanted to do lots of stuff, like cleaning the bathrooms, changing the beds, doing the washing etc., that doesn’t count!!!  You know – it’s the inside your heart stuff, those things that you just KNOW if you do them, you’ll regret...

For 2013, I am going to set just a few goals... 

1.       Continue my decluttering journey.  People, things, stuff... you know!
2.       Ensure I spend time doing the things I love.  Crochet, sewing, perhaps knitting.
3.       Pay down debt.  This leads me towards my next large goal – “Goal 2020” which I’ll talk about next.  I haven’t got an idea yet of a realistic goal – let’s say $10,000 off the principal of all my debt (not joint debt) – I’ll revise it when I see if it’s realistic... 
4.       Lose weight.  10kg will be good... 

That’s it – just 4 goals at this point.  I did have “stick to my budget” in there, but if I stick to point 3, that’s really a superfluous goal, as I will have stuck to it very well!!!

So – what’s this 2020 goal stuff all about....

Last time I did this, it was Goal 2010, and I started it when I lived in Sydney.  I wanted 4 investment properties, and I wanted shares – at least 10 different companies.  I must have started that in about 2003 or maybe it was 2004?  No, I’m sure it was 2003 when I bought my first Investment Property.

Well, I’d blitzed that goal by 2007, although I only had 3 investment properties and one house that Ken and I bought together.  I figured I was happy with that...

Fast forward to now, and I’ve stagnated a bit.  Sure, we’ve bought and done lots of things, but now it’s time to really start thinking about the future, working less hours, having debt paid off, having the ability to travel for longer than a long weekend. 

So – Goal 2020 is about paying down debt.  Are you ready???

By 2020, ALL of MY non-tax deductible debt will be gone from my life.  I’m okay with the tax deductible stuff, which are the mortgages on my investment properties.  The rent will be enough to cover those properties well and truly by then anyway, and they will be well and truly positively geared by then.  I say “my” non-tax deductible debt as Ken and I own the house together, and at this point I don’t have a plan for getting rid of that debt.  I will make one though!!!

Goal 2020

Zero non-tax deductible personal debt

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Tough couple of weeks....

It's been a tough couple of weeks.  Ken has been unwell again, and it's resulted in me needing to stay home from work a few times, and calling in his sister to come and provide backup so that I could go to work for a bit. 

It's been tough, but at the same time I'm remarkably calm about it all.  I have some very dear friends, each with their own lives and issues, who keep checking on us.  We have great neighbours who are doing the same thing, and even though they probably think they aren't helping at all, actually are helping a HUGE amount.

In the meantime, Lorraine and I have been playing tag in the kitchen and taking him places.  It's been so lovely having an additional pair of hands.... 

I'm getting quite a bit of crochet done!!!  Hope to be back with you soon!!!!!