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Archive for April, 2009

some mixed thoughts

April 28th, 2009 at 05:10 pm

First of all, an achievement: I realised today, as I filled my 2L water bottle from our kitchen tap, that I have not bought bottled water for ... a long time. I cannot remember the last time I bought bottled water. I would say it has been well over a month. Maybe two?
A plus to this is, our tap water actually tastes good at our new house! Even DF's sister noticed, as when we were sharing at our last house, she would buy her water as she didn't like the tap water there. It did not bother me that much that I had to buy it, but it did taste rather... tap-water-ish. But here, now, it tastes like filtered tank water. So DF and I have only discussed a few times the need to purchase a filter of some kind. It is kind of one of those things that is at the back of the list.

The youngest apprentice at work buys a bottle of water every day. It is a 1L bottle that costs $2.50. Multiply that by 5, and that's $12.50 she spends, every week. Which is $650 a year. Which might not be that much if you earnt a reasonable wage, but being an apprentice, I know she earns $220 a week. *sigh* sometimes I wish I could shake people...

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I am beginning to plan to make a herb garden, and a lettuce garden. I have read that you should plant flowers with lettuce so as to deter and confuse pests. So I might look into that too. I have been reading the gardning book that we were given as a housewarming present - and am a little overwhelmed. I have decided it would be in my best interests to formulate a table so as to figure out where to plant which herbs. Some need full sun, others need morning sun, some need drainage (coriander), some need wet roots (mint), plus I have to figure out the ones I need to plant now, seeing as it is becoming winter, and the ones I will have to plan to start in September, at the start of spring etc etc. Eek! At the moment it's all tumbled around in my head, so I think writing a list will be helpful. DF has it in his head I am going to fail (ok, my history with plants is really not that great) and that I am taking on too much work. This is when I had all these vast goals of making a huge vege patch. My response? 'I'll show YOU!'
Unfortunately, I agree somewhat with him. It's quite possible this venture could fail in epic proportions. My balloon has deflated to the herb garden size - so fingers crossed if this goes without a hitch, I may start a small plot with tomatoes and carrots as well.

I would feel the happiness of a zen master if I was able to grow my own salad, let me tell you.
I will do my best. You will see many photos on this blog of my efforts.

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I had an argument yesterday, that has been ongoing and that a lot of you know about, with my mum and her partner about my mums alcohol consumption. Long story short, I am working at home today (as I usually work at their house in their home-office). I have not actually told them I am working at home, but I was meant to start an hour ago, so I am thinking they have gotten the picture. Either that, or they haven't noticed.

It could be a good thing. It's possible this may be the beginning of the end of my employment there. I have worked there since 2001, and as most of you know, have grown increasingly frustrated with their spending and lack of restraint, and their poor business choices (buying a brand new $42k van, paying an extra 10k in interest, when they could have bought a second hand sedan for under $10k???)

It is interesting though, I am not sure if this is a good thing or not, but I feel no emotion (except small bouts of anger) any more. Through working there, I have had many incidences of sadness and despair - but now I just feel nothing. I just do not care how things turn out for them any more. You cannot help someone who does not help themselves. I have tried, and I still do, but at the same time, I have a clear voice in my head saying 'this is not your problem, this is not your fault, there is not a great deal you can do beyond what you have.'

Is this a good realisation? Or have I been ground down so much by stress and anxiety that I have no feeling left for this part of my life? I don't know. We will see I guess.

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I have been practising yoga again (I have done it off and on since I was 11 years old) a few times a week. Perhaps this is another reason for my non-feeling-ness. Maybe I am confusing 'not feeling' with calmness? Is that possible? I never even thought of that until just then. (amazing what blogging does!)
I have been using a yoga DVD. I much prefer doing this than having no one there - as it helps you hold the positions for the right amount of time. I have even fallen into an almost sleep-like relaxation during savasana a few times, even though the lady has been talking the whole time. I was never able to do that when I was younger. Interesting that we change as we get older.
Does anyone else do yoga here?

more everyday pics

April 27th, 2009 at 09:17 pm

Thought I would share some more seeing as some of you enjoyed the last few:

The bathroom at the greek orthodox community centre that the awards night was held at last week:



talk about... DECADENT!
gosh i would love to have a bathroom like that.

And a dinner I made recently:

Roast Beetroot, Rocket, Grape Tomato, Feta, Walnut & Pinenut salad.

net worth?

April 25th, 2009 at 06:58 pm

how do you work out your net worth? i have heard different things, of what you should and shouldn't include. so if someone here can give me a straight answer - that would be great!
i just figured it would be interesting to work it out.

accounts back up

April 22nd, 2009 at 04:16 pm

Our bond refund FINALLY came through into our bank account today. DF also got reimbursed for some petrol he paid for from work, and our pay has gone through - so our accounts are back where they started at (over $11k) before DF bought his engine. That is a relief. I do not like seeing it under $10k. Yes, the accounts COULD be up at around $14k right now if he hadn't bought the engine - but then he would still have two cars that do not work sitting downstairs.

DF still has to transfer his $900 stimulus into the joint account, and then we are going to close our old accounts.

I have been trying to only do one shop a week, but this week we have run out of a couple of things (coffee and ginger beer) so I will have to make a stop on my way home from work today.

my work won!

April 21st, 2009 at 04:53 pm

At the awards night last night, my boss won the regional award for Best Bakery! How exciting. He has only owned it for three years (same time I have worked there).
And my friend, well, she did not talk to me for about half an hour when she found her name in the book, but everything was fine after that.
My boss and colleague got quite sloshed as we were lucky enough to be at a table with a bar tab, picked up by one of the major flour companies.

The only downside was that there was an incredibly sleazy guy sitting at the table who took a like to my friend/colleague. At the end of the night he also took a like to Chivas Reagal on the rocks - which I don't think the flour company boss was very happy about either!

I got $50 from my boss for driving, and I probably used $30 of petrol. So $20 for 4.5 hours of driving isn't bad, when you consider I was going anyway! AND I don't have a hangover like the other two. I consider that a plus, on a Wednesday morning...

i upped my km/L !!!

April 20th, 2009 at 08:36 pm

The experiment I mentioned - well, I did it as much as I could stand. Mainly my downfall was airconditioning - there were a couple of days where I could NOT drive without it. Well. I could - if I wanted to arrive a sweaty mess to a cocktail party. Some of the days this week were over 30 degrees! And it's supposed to be getting colder? Bah.

So really I did not try much at all with my experiment this week, but I did manage to do 202 kilometres (125.51 miles) with 15.4 litres (4.06 gallons), which cost me $18.25.

So, if I am working that out correctly, I got:

13.11 kilometres per litre

or

30.91 miles per gallon.

So I got nearly an extra kilometre per litre.

So apparently 30.91 mpg is bad??? I have no idea. I have people in my (real) life saying 13.11 km/l is GOOD, but my last post had people saying it was bad. So I am severely confused now. (remember i drive a 4 cyl automatic in a hilly area, with a sports exhaust system that is apparently meant to increase 'performance', ie. use more petrol? it was like that when i bought it)

did i do the right thing?

April 20th, 2009 at 03:08 pm

Tonight I am driving my boss and colleague (also my closest friend) to a Gala Awards Night for the Baking Industry. My boss is up for an award for Best Bakery, and my colleague has won two awards. My boss said he would pay $50 to the person who drove, so I said I would do it, as my car just got serviced (and it will only cost me $20 in petrol).

Here is the thing: my colleague has NO idea that she has won the awards. Every single person at work knows except her. She is one of those people that does not think she is 'worth' anything and also thinks it would be embarrassing to get an award in front of people.

My boss asked me for help to get her to actually go to the award night (tickets cost $70 each but my boss managed to get three for free). So I called her and said 'We're going, I told Boss we would go' and used his nomination as an excuse.

So here's the thing, I am worried she will hate me or atleast be angry with me once she finds out I lied to her! I know that this sounds silly, but our relationship is based a lot on trust.

She has OCD and there are a lot of things that she will not do - and there are things I have to do for her that she would not ask anyone else (like open a can of drink - a small thing but huge at the same time - as she can't open cans due to not having long nails) and there are things I have to reassure her about that she would not trust from other people.

So I know that I did 'stretch the truth' with this award thing - but I hope she can see that I did it in order to get her to accept something she deserves, and that I would not lie to her about something that would affect her 'safety'.

dead toaster

April 19th, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Well, I have not posted for a few days.
On Saturday I bought a skirt that I had been eyeing off for months ($35). I also bought a singlet top ($10.38) and another nice top with lace-y bit on the shoulders ($31.99). Our toaster died, which we paid $9.98 for about four years ago. I decided to upgrade, and bought a $27.95 Breville toaster. Fingers crossed it lasts a bit longer! I also bought a coffee $3.75 and a headband $3. Yesterday we went out for lunch, so DF and I bought a membership to the RSL (won't let you in without one) $11. Lasts until the financial year end (June) but they also gave us $12 in drink vouchers. Our meals were delicious - we spent $27.95.

DF hopes to have his car going by the weekend. It is exciting for him as he hasn't had a car (that goes) in YEARS.

I have been having a recurring dream that my car won't start. Which is odd because I have NEVER had a problem with the ignition in real life, it always turns over in the first few seconds. I wonder what this dream is meant to mean?

more everyday pics

April 17th, 2009 at 03:19 am

I have decided to post an 'Everyday Pics' entry every week. Sometimes there will be a few photos, other times I may only be able to muster one shot. But I am going to do my best to do a post every week. I like sharing small snapshots - I hope others do too.

I like to go op-shopping and find things like this:

I was particularly proud of this flour container as I also found the creamer and sugar ones which matched. The flour one I remember in particular, as I read the price tag wrong. Initially I thought it said $10.50, and I put it back on the shelf. Then I picked it up again because I really liked it, and realised it said $1.50. Then I got to the cashier and they told me it was half price day!

My beloved Global knives:

I used them at a restaurant I worked at, and ever since then fell in love with them. They are made like Samurai swords - the steel is heated and folded many times to create great strength. They are also perfectly balanced handle-to-blade. I was beginning to save for them when Dad bought them for me for my birthday.

This is one of my favourite dresses in my wardrobe:

It's also the one that the boning dug into me - which is fixed now. I bought it in 2007 for a friends wedding. I can never find excuses to wear it, but tomorrow I am wearing it to an engagement party. I just love it, the floaty lace and the silky satin sash...


Well, I hope you like the latest instalment of my 'everyday pics'. More to come next week!

12.26km per litre! :O

April 15th, 2009 at 03:48 pm

I am ashamed to say that's how much my car does.
I mentioned it to DF's BIL and he said 'that's actually... not that great...' to which DF overheard and replies: 'it's great considering how whitestripe drives'
(!!!) Frown

Lets go, pedal to the metal!

So DebtFreeMe was the closest guess, at 22km a litre.

Now I have made it a goal of reducing that by nanny-driving (driving like your grandmother is in the back seat).

I will be filling the tank up on the way home from work today. Let's see how THAT goes!

$474 at the mechanics...

April 15th, 2009 at 02:03 am

... YAY!

Well, I was expecting $500-$600, so I am quite happy. All the normal service things were done, and the brakes.
my steering wheel no longer shakes, the handbrake is much tighter, he oiled my tyres for me, and he must have liked my music because he played 10 songs of the CD I had in there - but only drove a few kilometres Big Grin (bob dylan, jimi hendrix, jefferson airplane and the yardbirds).

Other than that, today I spent $3.15 on a drink in the morning, $3.80 on a drink in the afternoon, and $8.10 on a muffin and a coffee. I NEARLY bought a skirt and a necklace... NEARLY... but I decided to think about it. I am still thinking about it, so I might go in and have another look on Friday afternoon.

seeking some advice: money from my dad

April 14th, 2009 at 06:36 pm

First of all I am seeking some advice:
My dad has put $60 into my account every fortnight for... ever. When I was younger it was $20 a month, but it increased a few years ago.
I don't ask him for anything else ever - this probably stems from when I was young my mum would force me to ask my dad for anything I needed or wanted - so as soon as I started earning my own money I was fiercely independant.
Anyway, back to it. I appreciate the money I get from my dad, but I know I would be alright without it. He and his wife have a 12 year old daughter and they are still paying off a mortgage. I am closing the bank account where he puts the money - so my dilemma is: how do I word this?
I was thinking of writing an email (which is how we normally communicate) and saying, that I am closing the bank account, and that while I appreciate the allowance he gives me, and every time I see it deposited in my bank I do think of him, but that now is a time where I would be happy if he would like to use this money for my little sister (this is not the one that was sent to the grandparents - this is the complete other side of the family), or for their mortgage (they are good with money - the only thing I berate them with is that they don't pay extra! argh! and they only bought their house for $87k 10 years ago!). But that I would be happy to give him my bank details anyway for emergencies. And then I would ask how he felt about this.

So I was wondering how that sounded? I know there are LOTS of parents on here, and I thought I could get your input.

I have been thinking about it for ages. As I have said, I appreciate the money. And I also think it's crass to say 'dad, my new bank details are...'. And I also realise that I will be alright without the money. And I would prefer, in my heart, that they use it for themselves as well. I still get money for my birthday and christmas. They even give us money for DF's birthday!

So, any advice is welcome. Thankyou for taking the time to read!

Onto other updates:

I checked my old bank account today and the $900 stimulus has gone in (insert happy dance here).

The only thing I want to buy this week is a new pair of black heels. I do HAVE a pair, I just don't know where they are... and I need them by Saturday. Also, my feet go numb in them. Which is a good thing, considering otherwise they could be quite painful (I wouldn't know!) but I can't help thinking of the long term effects...

Not to say the new pair will be any different. I have accepted the fact that I do LOVE the look of gorgeous heels, but I that am much more of a ballet flat girl. But I have been reading lately that they are just as bad. *sigh* what am I supposed to do? wear joggers all the time? crocs? puh-lease!

I think I may wait a little while before I spend any more of it. No doubt everyone would have jacked up the prices because of it (or... won't have any good specials on). Also, DF just bought a new engine for his car, at the tune of $1920! But hopefully he and his BIL can just put it in, in one day, and DF will actually have a car of his own again.

I am also getting my car serviced today. It's car stuff all around. I am getting the brake pads and rotors done, I am guessing it will be around $500-$600 including the normal service as well. But I am praying that there is nothing else that needs to be done either. The mechanic is quite good, I have always gone there by myself and he has never tried to say 'oh, I had to do this' as all the horror stories go. With the brakes, he just did my normal service and said 'If I were you I would do these soon'. So I am very happy with him.

So there is a lot of money going OUT of the account at the moment, and not a great deal coming in (DF hasn't had a lot of work this week, and I have been sick a day and had two days off from public holidays). So the stimulus money ($900 for me and $900 for DF) will help keep it up at a normal level for a little while until we start earning a bit more again.

Come to think of it, I have been the main earner since we moved in to our new house. DF worked one day last week, so he only earnt $200. And consistently, the whole time we've been paying the mortgage, I have earnt more than him. However, that is only because Feb & March are typically slower months for tradesmen, and being a small business DF's dad can't afford to pay for hours that aren't worked. My mum asked me, when I mentioned DF only earnt $200 this week, "oh, how is that going to be for you guys though...?" I replied, "we don't spend more than we have, if it's not there, it's not there."
But, there will be weeks where DF will work 60 hours and rake in $1500 a week - which I could never do at my job. *sigh*
Of course, having the surplus $10k is making it easier Big Grin but my aim is to have that, and more, in there at all times.

my life in pictures

April 13th, 2009 at 07:36 pm

Thought it might be time to upload a few pics - inspired by brooklyngirls travel photos. Not really the same thing, but I hope you enjoy anyway!

our closest beach, on a good day:

and on a stormy day:

the sunset at our last rental house:

at our first rental house during the rainy season (end of summer, March) this was originally a large field. in the background you can see a line in the water, this is the top of a 1.2m fence:

the city where I grew up as a child, i revisit every couple of years (Melbourne):


what I do for work:


what DF does for work (and you've seen the pictures from our house too):

what DF does as a hobby, which I sometimes do as well (screenprinting on shirts, he cuts the pictures out by hand)


what we do for fun:




That's all I can find for now. There are so many more photos on DF's computer, I will have to raid them and find some more! Anyway, hope you have enjoyed them Big Grin