30 Nov 2020

Sharing the Dignity - Its in the Bag!

 For the last few years I've made up bags for the It's in the Bag collection each November for Share the Dignity, a charity that supplies feminine hygiene products to women domestic violence and homelessness charities. Each bag has basic hygiene products, soap, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, deodorant, pads, tampons and optional gifts as well.  There are teen bags and mother& baby bags also.  Its a great charity and I had thought I might volunteer for it when I retired.

Well this year I thought why wait till I retire? Stop putting everything off till later and start doing some of those things right now. So I signed up to help collect the bags, check them and deliver them to the charities.

I'm so glad that I did! 

Its been a wonderful week seeing the generosity of women helping women. The care and attention that has gone into these bags, the beautiful notes written, the hard work of the volunteers - faith in humanity restored!  

Right now I have my bags all sorted and ready to go to my charity, possibly later this week. Its been a busy, but very enjoyable week and I'm looking forward to the next event in April.

I made up three teen bags and one womens bag this year. I've decided next year I'm going to focus on mother & baby & teen bags as there is a real need for those. Heres my teen bags before packing getting some love from the cat.

DD and I both celebrated our birthdays this last week. We both had the day off work and went out for lunch. Its the first time since March that we have been anywhere other than work of grocery shopping and it felt wonderfully normal to be out having a meal!   The cafes & restaurants are still limited in how many people they can have inside so it was about half the usual number of seats but they have been allowed to put some tables outside so its good to see local businesses back in action.

Time for me to go to work, only two weeks left until holidays!

23 Nov 2020

How time flies!

 Its been a busy time since I last posted. 

We celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary a few days ago. How quickly the years have gone by! It seems like not so long ago we were busy moving into this house with our children 6 & 4 years old. Painting, planting, decorating and enjoying our young family. We'd built our home with a plan to stay here and grow old, and I guess thats exactly what we're doing. There are a lot of happy memories here and many more to come in the years ahead.

However our house and really does need a 'makeover'. Its a bit faded and worn and theres lots of work that needs to be done before we retire. At the moment we're still going back and forth on what can wait a bit longer and what can't. 

I've been busy decluttering and have six bags ready to go to the op-shop. I'm making slow progress in the sewing room and planning on getting rid of a desk in there which will free up a lot of room. 

Other than that I've been doing lots of planning for next year, doing calculations and trying to work out the best options financially. I might be working in a higher paying position at work next year, I should find out this week. It will be more money but also more responsibility but its only for 12 months if I get it.

I'm excited for the end of the year. Restrictions here are easing and borders have opened up between states. Our state has had no new community cases of Covid for 15 days now and you can feel people feeling relieved and more hopeful. At work we still have restrictions until the new year. I have only seen three clients in person since March as they were urgent issues, everyone else is still via phone or telehealth. In the new year the plan is to slowly return to normal so long as numbers stay down.

DD has been unwell and I spent three hours in emergency with her yesterday with asthma. There is dust and smoke in the air at times and very changeable weather so there has been an increase in 'thunderstorm asthma' here. A young boy came running in having a very bad asthma attack while we were waiting which was awful to see but the staff were fantastic as they always are here. We have a great local hospital. DD is much better today and will have a few days off. She a severe asthmatic but very well controlled and diligent about her medications which is good. 

So, thats a very quick catch-up lol!  

I'm thinking of my US readers with all the worries there. Sending you good thoughts and warm wishes for the Thanksgiving holiday, stay safe xx

9 Nov 2020

Sewing room progress


Just got back from short walk as I'm building back up slowly after my arthritis flare. Its a beautiful morning outside, lovely blue skies with a cool morning breeze. Watching the sun come up never gets old! My ankles are protesting a bit so I might go with walking every 2nd day this week.

Over the weekend I was glued to the TV watching the election results. Yes I was out of bed in the early hours and saw the announcement live that Joe Biden had won. It feels like the world has taken a collective sigh of relief with the news. Listening to his speech, and Kamala's, was like a breath of fresh air. 

I'm making slow progress in my sewing room, slow because I'm enjoying going through my fabrics and projects, its very relaxing just to be sorting fabric and wool and thinking about what I'd like to make. I enjoy having lots of different projects on the go at the same time so I can swap and change what I'm working on. I've missed not sewing so much this year and its time to get back to it.

I've decided to just set my sewing machine up in lounge room as that is where I prefer to sew. If its set up there I sew every day as its easy to just do a bit of sewing throughout the day. I've been working on half square triangles for my Blue Ridge Beauty quilt over the weekend and looking out fabrics for Bonnies next mystery quilt - Grassy Creek.

Time to get ready for work, only five weeks left to go!

6 Nov 2020

Work is so slow at the moment!

This week has flown by! I've spent most of this week at work catching up on little jobs I've put off and doing a lot of filing and paperwork that needs to be sorted. Work is very, very quiet, theres hardly anyone on campus and enrolments are way down. I think we're starting to see the impact of Covid along with years of government cutbacks to our sector. It will be interesting to see if things improve next year or if this is going to continue long term. So I've planned to have a big cleanup of the storeroom and a re-organise of my office and files. That should keep me occupied until Christmas and then I'll be all ready for whatever the new year brings.

I had a meeting with my manager yesterday, while nothing is certain, it looks quite likely that the long awaited (6 years) restructure will go ahead next year. Whereas before I was told I had a good chance of redundancy, some workplace changes in 2020, including Covid impact, have actually made it more likely that I will still have a job, possibly less hours and a change in some duties. 

At this point I don't really care what the outcome is. I just want to know. Six years of being told every year to prepare for restructure and then six years of being told we're going to postpone it for 12 months is just too much. I really hope we finally can get this done in 2021!

I caught up with two colleagues I haven't seen since March which was lovely. I'm fortunate to work with some really good people and many I've known for years. I've missed those regular work catch-ups over a cuppa.

I've also been glued to the TV ( at home & at work) following the election. Its so different to our system and interesting to watch. Hopefully the result comes soon and we can return to some decency in the Whitehouse. It feels like the whole world is hanging on the result at the moment. Its an election that affects us all.

I'm looking forward to the weekend as my arthritis flare is almost over so I'm back on my feet and ready to stuck into some more jobs around the house.

1 Nov 2020

October Progress Report

 Time for another progress report!


  • current balance: $68,752
  • down from: $70,595
  • total reduction: $1,843
I sent less additional payments to the mortgage this month, and more to savings. We're still on track to meet our 2020 goal but I've been doing a few calculations lately and we might be making some changes to our goals which I'll write more about in a future post.


  • me: $175,408
  • DH: $347,367
  • total: $522,775
  • total increase:$14,315
Our retirement savings are increasing, with extra payments into my super and DH's contributions for the last two months deposited.


I've been off work for all of October which has been nice.  I go back this week for six weeks and then I am on leave for the Christmas break. 


I enjoyed spring cleaning for a few weeks and got quite a bit done, including defrosting the freezer and decluttering the pantry, but I've been out of action for over a week now so no painting done as planned. 


Not so great this month, no weight loss and not much exercise due to an arthritis flare up. Hopefully next month is better!