Kids can surprise you – even when they’re adults.

I saw this meme on Janet’s blog and thought I’d give it a burl.

Making: Either tonight or tomorrow night I’ll be making some timtam fudge or caramello fudge for the people at work. I’m also knee-deep in a quilt for Tom25, and I’ve had a brilliant idea for one of my blogging friends overseas. 🙂

Cooking: One of the joys of having adult children is that THEY can make dinner most nights. Of course, I get them to do it because it’s beneficial for them to know their way around a kitchen, not at all because I’m sick to death of cooking. However, we’re hosting Christmas this year and it’s going to be beautiful! I’ve already started planning.

Drinking: like a fish. Honestly, this year, between the building project, the bridging finance and the sleepless nights worrying about what might happen if it all fell through, the household budget for Mum’s Medicinal Wine has gone way up. I’m still very partial to a Shiraz, but I’ve also started experimenting with whites now that the weather is heating up. Considering all the possible substances I could be putting into my body, some wine isn’t the worst thing in the world, surely?

Reading: Since dropping the thermomix business I’ve read more books than I have over the previous 5 years, but my main area of reading is still online, particularly FB and blogs. I really should update my bloglist to include all the FI blogs I’m reading nowadays.

Wanting: More free time. It seems slightly ironic that I’ve bought the best house in Melbourne, but with the commute I have it seems like I’m hardly ever there.

Looking: at the staff room and my desk that I won’t have to clap eyes on until late January. Yay! Love teaching, but by gum I love the holidays more!

Playing: (1) podcasts. I listen to 2 hours a day of them as I commute to and from work. I still can’t believe that there’s such a wealth of entertainment and knowledge that we can access totally for free. What a wonderful world we live in! (2) Settlers of Catan. Last Christmas I bought the family 2 board games. We haven’t tackled ‘Pandemic’ yet, but a couple of months ago on a Family Sunday Roast day we gave ‘Settlers of Catan’ a try. We loved it. It’s since come out a couple more times and it’s terrific.

Deciding: Where to invest and in what percentages. It was much harder than I thought it would be to stop freezing in the face of making a decision and just to bloody make it! Last week I pulled my finger out and finally made the move and I’m happy with the decision.

Wishing: Wishing that I could afford to go to both the UK AND China/Korea next year. The UK will have to wait for a bit.

Enjoying: Seeing how happy Evan21 is to be accepted into an acting degree at Ballarat next year. He took 3 years to decide what he wants to do and it was a nail-biting wait of 2 weeks after his second audition until he was notified.

Waiting: for this damned school term to end! ARGH!!! They have us working right up until the Friday before Christmas, so I know the weekend will be frantic before Christmas lunch on Monday. Can’t wait until I have my first pyjama day. And the first day I spend The Whole Day reading a book or binge-watching Netflix.

Liking: the stage of life I’m in right now. The boys are still around me but they’re pretty much living their own lives, the job is still fun and I’m at the point of not giving a tinker’s cuss about what anyone else thinks. The level of personal freedom is probably greater now than it’s ever been.

Wondering: if life is so good right now, how much better will it be when I can afford to retire and have the whole of my days to myself?

Loving:  stirring in the middle of the night and realising that Poppy has snuck up on the bed and is peacefully sleeping beside me. Such a nawty pupper who loves her Mummy. 

Pondering: about what my life goals will be for the next 5 years. I’ve realised that I’m happiest when I’m working towards goals and seeing progress.

Considering: How many more years I want to keep working. I’ve set 5 more years as a stretch target, but if I can move to part-time sooner than I currently expect I’ll be a happy person. I’m learning as much as I can about investing and I’m putting things in place that will hopefully help me gain my freedom from having to work sooner rather than later. Imagine how great it would be if full-time work was a choice, rather than a necessity?

Buying: too many Christmas gifts, especially for the boys. I even bought the dogs something. Unfortunately, they can smell them, even through the packaging, so I can’t wrap them and put them under the tree. There’d be mayhem and ruined surprises.

Watching: I’ve just finished series 2 of both ‘The Crown’ and ‘Victoria’ and I loved them both. I have to say, I was really struck by the similarities of what they had to go through as women taking on the role of the monarch, even though (roughly) 100 years separated the two of them. I’m still a ‘Walking Dead’ and ‘Survivor’ tragic, though I’ll have to wait until next year for those.

Hoping: that Trump and Kim Jong Un will stop sabre-rattling until after I have my holiday in the region. I’d prefer to see the sights in peace and not have to be concerned about war breaking out. I’m funny like that…

Marvelling: when I see shots of Pluto, Mars and Jupiter etc… How incredible that we have the capabilities to be able to see what other planets look like.

Cringing: when I come home and Ryan22 still hasn’t mowed the lawn or finished the edging. The place looks raggedy-around-the-edges and it bugs me.

Needing: new underwear. Scout steals mine and now most of them have little tooth-shaped holes in them. This is only stylish if you’re going for the “Homeless on the streets” look.

Questioning: Why more people don’t take advantage of the free train travel early in the mornings in Melbourne? I’ve been keeping track of how much I’ve saved since starting it this term, and I’m up to $150 saved. People who can start early and finish early at work are absolutely MAD not to do it – I, of course, being a teacher, have to finish at the same time every day, so I don’t gain any extra “me” time by doing it. But the savings, mounting up over time, are worth it.

Smelling: Yesterday for our English faculty lunch one of the new teachers set up lamb and chicken on a spit. He got here at 7AM and tended it lovingly all morning. The smell wafted through the whole school and made our department the envy of all others.

Wearing: I was running out of clothes so I got mum and Dad to bring me back some bright Bali pants from their last holiday. I’ve been wearing them to work and they’re great! So comfy and happy!

Following: lots of blogs and podcasts. Also quite a few things on Netflix. Who needs to go out when there’s a smorgasbord of things to see at home?

Noticing: that after much head-in-the-sand experimentation, that carbs are not my friends. This has been a deep blow to me and my portly frame.

Thinking: of starting a new blog on FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early.)


Admiring: Poppy’s patience with Scout. Every time we throw the ball they both go after it. 95% of the time Scout gets it first. Those little legs can move surprisingly fast. When Poppy gets it, Scout bites her on the ear and runs back with her, as if she believes she is helping Pop to carry the ball. It must hurt sometimes, yet Poppy never tells her off.

Sorting: through my desk. I’ve got material here that I haven’t looked at for a decade, I reckon. Now that everything is moving to digital, there’s no need to keep old handouts and exams.

Getting: less tolerant of bullshit as I’m getting older.

Bookmarking: odd bits and pieces. Nothing major.

Coveting: a life where I don’t cough all the time. I’ve had a cough for over a year and it’s driving me and everyone around me crazy. My new doctor thinks it might be ‘silent reflux’ so I’ve just started taking medication to treat it. I have a month to see if it works. I’ve got my fingers crossed on this one – I’d love to stop coughing. I just found a link for this condition and there was a sentence that stopped me in my tracks: “Individuals who use their voices a lot, such as teachers and singers, may also be more at risk from the condition.” (Edited to say, I’ve just read where it says that you need to cut down on alcohol, chocolate and caffeine. I almost think I’d rather have the cough…)

Disliking: the new teaching initiatives they’re talking about implementing at work next year. It appears that they want to make everyone teach the same things in the same order in the same way and using the same words and phrases… this sounds like all of the fun will be sucked out of the job. I’m regarding next year with a ‘wait and see’ attitude.

Opening: parcels and wrapping them up for people. I LOVE Christmas!

Giggling: If you never listen to another podcast, listen to this one. Go to iTunes and download ‘Cumberbin’s Treasure’. It was originally broadcast as ‘Cabin Pressure’ and it’s British humour at its best. You can thank me later.

Feeling: very tired. This year has been a big one, all things considered, and I feel I need a good long break with not much activity.

Snacking: More than I should. It’s hard when the year 7s give you shortbread and brownies they’ve made themselves. (I assume they’re too young and innocent to think about putting laxatives in them.)

Hearing: The end-of-year talk in the staff room. Some of it is idle chat; some is earnest, deadly serious pedagogy; while some is Maths talk from the girls who sit near me and, while they claim what they say is in English, I only understand one word in ten. (Or should I say, 1 word in 10?)

Knowing: that what Blogless Sandy said to me years ago has finally come true. Long-term readers of the blog will remember that the boys and I had many lean years when my ex-husband was leaving jobs, not paying child support, causing all sorts of drama and was basically making my life a misery. I made it an absolute rule not to let the boys know what was going on. Blogless Sandy said to me at the time, “One day those boys will thank you for all that you’ve done.

I was always, “No, they’re kids. They’ll never notice.” Well… how wrong I was!

The three younger kids have since shown their appreciation for things that I shielded them from when they were kids. My oldest son was a different kettle of fish.

Tom25 was always his father’s son. All through high school and uni he worked at his father’s shop and they were close. That all changed last year when there was a massive falling out, with Tom25 being blamed for things that he had nothing to do with. The betrayal was awful, with things being said to him, (that I overheard), that were truly appalling. It was all to throw the blame onto someone else, rather than where the blame really lay on why the shop was lurching towards bankruptcy. It was a hideous time and Tom25 was deeply hurt by it. This proved to be the last straw for the other boys, with none of them seeing their father anymore, except for Nonna’s Boxing Day party, where they get to see their cousins and other family members.

Last Saturday, my phone beeped and I saw that Tom25 had sent me 15 seconds of Paul McCartney singing ‘Lady Madonna’ from the concert in New Zealand. I was touched that he’d thought of me and was about to send a reply when I saw that he’d put a comment before he’d sent the clip. It was simply, “Your song.”

Here are the lyrics.

I teared up and got really emotional. What a beautiful way for me to show that he appreciates it all. I’ve never been more pleased to be proven wrong! He made Blogless Sandy happy too. She loves to be proven correct. 🙂

Merry Christmas, those of you who made it to the end of the post. What a marathon! May you and yours have a beautiful time together and may you feel all the love and happiness of the season. What are you planning to do over the break?

Financial post: The 3 numbers that will make you a millionaire.



This entry was posted in balance, meme, Quality of life. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Kids can surprise you – even when they’re adults.

  1. flossypatchedbritches says:

    Hi Froggie! This year you haven’t blogged as much & I’ve not been reading as much. So it’s a bright surprise to see your offering in this pre-Christmas week. You have achieved so much this year.
    In case you were in any doubt, retirement is really a great thing. You’re going to love it. Since I jumped into retirement, I have been up to lots of things I never dreamed I’d have time for and have enhanced relationships with old friends and new. Rewarding on so many levels!
    I love the meme idea. May I steal it? I think it would be an good exercise for my personal journal. So much on your list is positive and encouraging.
    Then I reach your essay on “Knowing”. I’m still wiping my tears. I didn’t read your blog way back when your single Mum road was so troubled. I had a difficult journey too. The details are no longer important to share. Although it’s still an effort, at times, to forget. I have two beautiful adult children. My son (34) has spontaneously opened his heart to me in recent years. The emotions he brought forth in me were incredibly strong. We cannot fool our children and, I don’t know about you, but all the things I thought I had hidden from them have been revealed in other ways. That my children express their love for me is such a blessing.
    I look forward to reading more of your tales in 2018.
    Wishing you Christmas cheer (although it sounds like you’re already ready tucking in) and a Happy New Year.

    • Frogdancer says:

      What a lovely reply, Deb. It’s funny how our lives change as we get older and we find contentment. I’m working very hard to put myself in the position to find out for myself what retirement is like. I’m certainly looking forward to it!

  2. Janet says:

    Lovely to catch up with your blog again – I stopped reading blogs when I stopped blogging and when I couldn’t find a reader I liked…. but back now.

    I have an awful feeling that I might never work again, the last two jobs I went for I was so qualified for but oh well. It doesn’t feel like retirement yet but maybe that’s the way I should frame it? Retirement sounds so much better than unemployment!

    Also your dogs are so super cute. We had a long haired dachshund when I was growing up – sometimes I contemplate another one but possibly not the best idea right now.

  3. Mardi says:

    So wonderful that you are so content but still energetic for all that is to come. Merry Christmas and a joyous fulfilling New Year.

  4. Cathy says:

    What a great catch up on what you’ve been doing. I am constantly surprised slash dismayed by how fast time is going by. When you mentioned about the dramas you had with your ex, thinking back, it only seems like I was reading about that happening maybe last year, or possibly the year before. Time is flying by. However, it’s the best feeling when you see what wonderful, grown up, capable and successful children you have managed to produce in the intervening years. You can have your very own smug parenting moment, right there. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year, once you manage to slow down and enjoy it. I’m still working, but finishing up on Friday afternoon for potentially a whole 4 weeks off!

  5. Kay says:

    I didn’t realise you weren’t a Thermomix consultant any more. You were one of the main reasons I bought one and I’ve never regretted it. Maybe your new blog will now inspire me to learn more about financial independence; I’d certainly love to travel when I finally retire and have to work out a way to fund it somehow. 🙂
    Merry Christmas and I look forward to more blog reading in 2018.

    • Frogdancer says:

      Yes, I left thermomix a few weeks after I moved. It was getting a bit hard with the extra commute and living so far away from my team and so I thought I’d give someone else a go.

      Like you, I still love my thermomixes. Use at least one of them every day.



      • Kay says:

        We don’t use ours every day but certainly enough to justify having it. And best bit, the lovely daughter now cooks on a regular basis! Yay!

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