17 Oct 2018

Refreshed and refocused!

We've been home for a few days now. After being so busy for the last month its been nice to take it easy at home and just get unpacked, catch up on sleep and re-acclimatise to different weather. 

The holiday was great!  It was so nice to just have time to sit around and talk to each other about our plans and how we're going to go about setting ourselves up for retirement.

I also re-read Down to Earth & The Simple Home by  Rhonda Hetzel and it was a lovely reminder of what I'm aiming for - simple living and time to enjoy my home and family. I really am ready to just stop working. I feel like time away from work has let me get things back in perspective.

So we have decided our next step is to get our vegetable gardens done so we can get back to growing our own vegetables. We will have raised, square foot gardening beds - probably about six across the back of the yard. I'm also going to start a potted herb garden out the front where there is full sun.

Now that DH is working less he'll have time to do the work around the yard. The garden beds need to be cleaned out and replanted, paving, fences & paths need completing. Theres plenty of work to keep him busy.

We're also going to look into solar power - electricity prices here are just so high - and increasing the insulation in the house.  Overall we're trying to make the house retirement ready and reduce our running costs.

We passed another milestone with our mortgage by reaching the end of Year 14 balance. Our current mortgage balance is now $136,990. 

So today I am cooking. I have made chicken bone broth, vegetable soup and am about to make biscuits and muffins. I've got the freezer almost defrosted and  I am trying to work out a better system for storing food in a chest freezer so that food can be rotated and not lost in the bottom - if anyone has any ideas I'd love to hear them.

8 Oct 2018

Enjoying our holiday!

We've had a wonderful few weeks holidays, seeing Alaska and Japan in the cruise and now we have a few days in Tokyo. I have good internet access today so thought I'd share a few pics from our travels before we leave for the bullet train. 

Alaska is just beautiful!  Such amazing views everywhere we looked.







We saw icebergs and glaciers for the first time!







We enjoyed getting outdoors and doing some bushwalking.











The holiday has been such a good break - lots of time to unwind and refocus on where we are headed. Financially - we've stuck to our budget and won't be coming home to any holiday bills.  I'm looking forward to summer and getting some work done around the gardens over the coming months.

We'll be home in the next week so I'll post a bit more then and I have a few days till I go back to work so lots of time to catch up on blog reading.  Now we're off to try and navigate Tokyo Station!

10 Sep 2018

Holidays!

Yay!  I'm on holidays!

Six lovely long weeks ahead to see relax, unwind, read good books and enjoy our travels. We have a few days at home before we leave so I'm busy washing and packing at the moment.

We've still been eating down the stockpile and its getting pretty low. I had hoped to defrost the freezer before I go but I don't think it will be all used up by then.

Spring blossoms are out everywhere and we've had a family of magpies move in on the roof so its lovely to hear them singing in the early mornings. I'm looking forward to being able to start walking in the morning when we get back.

Its doubtful I'll post much while we are away, it will depend on internet access. So if I can do a few posts I will, other wise I'll be back blogging regularly in about a month.

...can't wait to get on board that plane!

2 Sep 2018

Spring Cleaning!

 Yesterday was the first day of spring and we kicked it off with a big cleaning session. We've all been in a bit of a funk here with various work stresses and we need to get out of it. So we spent all morning cleaning, sorting and tossing stuff out.

 We have fully decluttered the lounge/family/dining room and re-arranged all the furniture. I've filled a bag to go to the op shop. It feels so good to walk out into this room this morning and its clean and decluttered - finally!

We have only one more week to work until we are on leave, and only 11 days till we leave for our trip.  I'm starting to get excited! Before I go I have quite a bit of work to do so I've actually bought work home to do over the weekend. Other than that my plan for today is get some cooking done and a bit more decluttering.

When we get back from holidays DH will be part time. We've planned out the work we're going to do around the house and garden. We'll also be able to start our morning walks again.

Well the birds are chirping outside my window and the sun is just coming up so time for me to get moving!

31 Aug 2018

August Progress Report

August seems to have gone in the blink of an eye!  We had reduced money to throw at the mortgage this month as the loans on our IPs are changing and I've started sending extra to them.

Mortgage
  • $142,369 down from $143,985
  • $17,789 redraw down from $18,825
  •  total mortgage reduction $1,616
Retirement Savings
  • mine $110,204
  • DH   $282,907
  • total  $393,111
  • total increase $8,060
Groceries
  • $50 CC points
  • $53.22 savings
  • $103.22 savings
Health
No exercise, too many carbs and coffees and too much stress this month have all taken a toll. I have put on weight and feel just exhausted. This is how I felt before I had my year off and really don't like it. Thank heavens I am about to go on leave as I know my weight goes down when I'm away from the stress - so expect a big drop next month.

Work
My extra job - wonderful! My regular job - Awful - too much of everything except time to do it all.  'nuff said!

Home
not much done at home this month. I did shred another lot of old client files that came due for destruction and we've been eating down the stockpile but thats all. Fortunately it will soon be spring and once we get back from our trip DH will have more time to work around the yard and house.

30 Aug 2018

.Working for the man...


Its been a busy & stressful week or so since my last post. My workplace is just very chaotic at present, and everyone is stressed to the max with all the changes and rumours of changes and cuts to budgets and services. I simply cannot keep up with the amount of work coming my way and so there has been some conflict and last week. I just walked out a few hours early one day as I simply could not take it anymore. I knew if I stayed I'd say something I'd regret.  So I, and many of my colleagues are just in survival mode right now.

Yesterday I met with my manager and who assured me of their full support and confidence in my decisions and priorities. That does help a lot! After a week of hearing the rumour our jobs might go before Christmas my manager refuted this and is pretty confident my job will remain, but may change slightly.I try not and get caught up in the rumour mill but sometimes it hard. Another colleague was let go last week.

So I've been living on coffee and carbs - not looking forward to my weigh-in tomorrow! Not much happening her but working and sleeping.


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