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Sorry about the long gap between postings.  What with Christmas, my birthday, New Year, and buying another property, it’s been flat out.

Just the new property by itself has been hectic.  We managed to negotiate possession prior to settlement, so we’ve been putting in the hard yards after work and on weekends.  Needless to say it’s been tiring but rewarding.  For example, the backyard was a complete hovel – lots of cr@p left behind by the flakey previous owner, a rotting pergola, and a sad little paved area surrounded by dust.  From the skeletal remains of reticulation (irrigation) we dug up, it was apparent that at some stage the dust was meant to be a garden.

We spent hours taking the cr@p to the tip, digging up the pavers, dead plant corpses and reticulation, and getting rid of the excess sand.  Today the pavers came and started laying our beautiful new charcoal pavers (with a natural coloured border, of course) and we will also be getting a new patio installed.  I can’t wait.  If nothing else, having the entire back area paved means no more dust in the house!

So yes we have been pretty busy.  It’s been good though, especially now the most back breaking part is finished 😉  There’s still lots to be done, but we’re getting there.


It’s hard to believe it’s Sunday evening already.  And mid-December, no less.   WTF has happened to the year?

I’ve had a pretty good week and weekend.  Work was satisfying this week – for one of the few times this year I actually felt like I was working on something important.  I had to write up a document for the Premier’s chief of staff, in a very short time frame and with little direction, and it went through without any amendments.  This made me happy 😀

The diet and exercise etc is still going well.  I’ve now lost 4.6kgs, which means I’m about half-way to being a size 12.  I’m starting to get a lot of comments about it too, mostly from various people at work.  I just have to stick with it, I guess.  Zumba is having a two-week break over Christmas, so I’ll have to see what I do about that.  In theory I’ll go running instead.  In reality, I loathe running with a passion, so we will have to see.  Maybe I’ll just limit my eating to 1000 calories a day, who knows.

Also, we’ve bought another property!!  This was the truly exciting news of the week.  It’s a 3×1 villa, and we got it for $322K.  This is a BARGAIN, and it has really made my month.  It needs a bit of work in the outside areas (new paving, and a garden needs to be established) but inside it’s relatively okay.  The really exciting thing is we’ve also negotiated access to the property after finance approval, but before settlement.  This means we can start doing stuff to it, before we have to pay the mortgage on it.  First time we’ve managed to negotiate this so I’m really stoked!

I saw my mum today, who was in good form.  We spent two hours together gasbagging, and it went really well.  I don’t always get along fantastically with my mother, so today was really nice for a change.  I even got my act together and bought a secret santa gift for this coming Friday’s work Christmas party – a calendar with smartarse sayings.  The recipient will love it, she’s got a similar sense of humour to me, so that was a win.

I’m in the process of cooking a lamb roast for dinner.  It’s got to the point where the lamb-roast odours are wafting around the house, and driving me nuts.  I’m so hungry, I’ve only had 900 calories today – I thought I’d save up and splash out for dinner 😀  Plus, I may even have a chocolate mousse for dessert.  I’ve found these great Aero chocolate mousses which are only 69 calories, with pretty much no fat, so they’re an allowable indulgence.

And what a week it was.  I decided last Saturday that on top of going to zumba 3-4 times a week, it would be helpful if I also started watching what I eat.  Basically the ‘rules’ of my new ‘eating plan’ are as follows: 2,000 calories or less per day, less than 50g fat per day, eat 5-6 times a day (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, optional snack), and at least one piece of fruit and/or veg per day.  All in all, it sounds pretty prescriptive, but I’ve found it relatively easy to fit it into my lifestyle.  This of course means it’s sustainable, which is important for the medium to long term with anything like this.

Anyhow, I hopped on the scales this morning.  What with going to 4x zumba classes and my new ‘eating plan’, I lost two kilos exactly in the first week.  This amazed me.  I’m only a touch overweight for my height (BMI of 26.6) so it’s not like I had a huge amount to drop off or anything.  And yet, I lost 2kgs.  This makes me a happy girl!  Plus, it’s on top of a blowout last night – we went to our friends’ place (G and V) for dinner, where I ate three pieces of brie with biscuits, just to start with, and had three (alcoholic) drinks.  Needless to say, this great result has only encouraged me to stick with it.

In other ‘friends’ news, we caught up with my friend L and her hubby M today for brunch.  They brought along their little cutie pie of a daughter, A, who is five months and just completely adorable.  She’s obviously a very placid baby and is good as gold.  L and M are loving parenthood and are completely enraptured with A.  So cute 😀

We had a new tenant move in to one of the properties today.  Fortunately the previous tenants moved out on Thursday, which gave me a chance to get it all ready, despite our busy social weekend.  He seems very nice and appreciative, which is lovely.  Now all he needs to do is pay the rent on time and leave the property neat at the end of the tenancy, and he’ll be a perfect tenant.  Fingers crossed 😉

Wow.  Busy few days.

I went to a zumba class on Wednesday night, and again yesterday morning (Saturday).  After the first twenty minutes on Wednesday, I thought I was going to die.  Talk about unfit.  However it’s already getting easier – after yesterday’s class I didn’t feel so bad.  Tired, yes, but ready to peg it, no.  There’s another class on Monday night but there’s stuff I have to do for one of the properties, so I don’t think I’ll make it this week.

Interview on Friday went okay.  Not amazing, but okay.  I should find out in about six weeks whether I’ve been appointed or not.  Until then I just need to not think about it.

It’s been a social week, too.  We had my brother and sister in law over on Thursday for pizza, and we had my in-laws over last night for roast lamb.  I now feel like I’d be perfectly happy not to interact for a couple of weeks with anybody other than C.  However, I’ve been a good sister/daughter in law, the house got cleaned so it was decent, and I’ve covered off on my family obligations for a little while, so it’s all good.

I got a head start on the cleaning on Friday night – I did both bathrooms and toilets.  Then I got up early and did laundry and food shopping before my 10am zumba class.  I don’t know if I can keep this up, but I do like the precedent it set.  I kept on with the good work this morning, by ironing three of C’s work shirts.  In theory I need to get to the apartment today to continue work on the bathroom, but I don’t know if I can be bothered, to be honest.  I’m worn out from all the housework, entertaining and exercise!!

Really the title should be ‘day off paid work’, but I’m not quibbling – any day off is a good day!  I realised yesterday at work that I had some flexi hours up my sleeve, and that I was on top of my workload, so I asked the boss if I could have today off as a day in lieu, and he said yes 🙂

I spent most of the morning sleeping (how sad is that?!) then did some food shopping and had lunch.  After that I went to the property we’re working on and did some more sealing and patching work in the bathroom/laundry.  I’m really hopeful this is going to sort it out, the bits I patched today I’d sealed the other night, and they looked really good, and gave a great surface to put the polyfilla on.  Hoping for the best!

I even have some plans in the pipeline for exercise.  I randomly did a google search the other day for zumba classes in my suburb, and a few popped up.  One is on tonight at the local hall, from 7pm and the best part (apart from being just down the road) – it’s only $12 per class!  At that rate I can happily justify going twice a week.  Whether I do or not is another story, but location and price wise it’s ideal.  I’ve only done zumba before on the wii, but I love high-energy aerobic based stuff, so I’m sure to love it.

I spoke to my brother last night, who informed me that he’s leaving on Sunday to go to the UK for work for ten weeks.  I was a bit sad as I haven’t seen him for ages, so he and his wife will be coming over tomorrow night for pizza for dinner.  I even thought ahead enough to buy some garlic bread today when I was shopping that we can have with the pizza.

Finally, I have an interview for a permanent position on Friday.  I keep forgetting about it.  That’s probably not a good sign, is it?  I’ll have to make sure my brother and sister in law don’t stay too late on Thursday night.  The good thing about my brother is that we do have that relationship where I can kick him out at 10pm and he’ll understand perfectly. 🙂

I must admit, I’ve felt a bit blah for about a week or so.  Not really sure why, but all I’ve wanted to do is sleep – more so than usual.  This weekend has been particularly bad.  Both days I woke up early, did a few things, then went back to bed for three hours.  Then awake again, did some stuff, then back to bed.  Then up again for dinner and back to bed.  I haven’t counted how many hours I’ve actually been sleeping per day, but it would have to be around the fifteen hour/day mark.

As I said, not really sure what’s happening.  The depression isn’t worse than usual; I’m not coming down with anything; and I haven’t started a new exercise program that would explain the tiredness.  So yeah, out of ideas.

In my few waking hours, I did manage to start sorting out one of the properties.  The bathroom/laundry in this property has been a problem since we bought it.  The walls and ceiling won’t stop peeling.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sanded, filled gaps, sealed and repainted, but I’m starting to play hardball now.  Sanded and crack filled as per usual yesterday, and today I did a coat of oil-based sealer/primer on the worst spots.  We’re going to stop by after work and see how it’s looking tomorrow.  If this doesn’t work, I don’t know what to do.  The good news is we have until Sunday 2nd October to get it sorted, so there is some wiggle room in terms of time.

One other thing to note – I stumbled on the funniest blog ever written by a cat tonight, Urban Underbelly.  I added it to my links, so check it out.  Talk about black humour.  It’s great stuff.

Yet another busy weekend.  We had one lot of tenants move out yesterday, and new ones move in today.  Even though the place was left very clean, it still takes a fair bit of work to do a turnover.  However the new tenants are in and appear to have settled in well, so that’s a relief 🙂

Apart from the property turnover, today was Fathers’ Day.  My dad is dead, and my stepdad J is overseas with mum at the moment, but C’s dad is still around so we had him and C’s stepmum over for a cooked breakfast.  I did bacon, eggs, mushrooms and toast, followed by buttermilk pancakes with strawberry coulis and maple syrup.  It turned out well and was very much appreciated, which is always nice.  I was smart this time and had breakfast before they arrived – I can’t eat savoury stuff in the mornings and I knew I was doing all the cooking, so I was prepared!  (I’ve done this before but not eaten first, and just about passed out from low blood sugar by the time I do eat something.)

I was particularly happy with the buttermilk pancakes – I’ve made them before, but not with gluten-free flour (C’s dad is a coeliac) and they turned out beautifully, which was great.  So many things don’t taste ‘right’ with gluten-free flour, but these were lovely and tasted ‘normal’ so to speak.  The only thing was the mix went flat pretty quickly.  Still tasted fine, but just very flat, more like pikelets than pancakes.   It was also the first time I’d made strawberry coulis and that also worked out well.  Very easy – a small punnet of strawberries, three dessertspoons of castor sugar, and juice of half a lemon, whizzed up in the blender.  It made HEAPS, easily double of what we used, so I’ll also have to remember that in future.

Yes we are both still alive!  It was C’s birthday on the 2nd of August, which took a fair bit of prep, as we had his dad and stepmum over to a three course dinner that I cooked.  Yep three courses, plus little coffee meringues for afters.  I was shattered by the time it was over, but it was worth it – C had a great night.  As the 2nd was a Tuesday, I then had to struggle through the rest of the week at work knackered, but it was a good evening.

On the third, we lost both internet and phone connectivity.  Thanks Telstra!  We’re iinet naked DSL customers, and it appears one of Telstra’s techs just stole our line for a new customer in the area :O   This shit amazes me.  It’s anti-competitive behaviour, as far as I’m concerned.  Anyhow, we didn’t get a connection back for nearly a week and a half.  Pretty stressful as C was on call for a week during that period.  Luckily for the first time in forever, he didn’t actually get called on the entire week.  This is just about a miracle.

LIfe has been going pretty well generally.  We’re finding the properties are all behaving themselves, which is nice.  We had people move out on Friday and for some reason, I washed all the linen like I was possessed.  Not really sure why, as we didn’t have anyone due to move in to that property.  Anyhow, wouldn’t you know it, I got a call and long story short, we did end up with people moving in on Saturday.  I’m SO glad I got that linen all sorted out.  How’s that for lucky?!  They’re there for a minimum of three months, which is great.  Next couple of turnovers will be happening at the beginning of September, so no rest for the wicked here.

Work is also going well – my boss P has asked me to put in for a permanent position.  This is a good indicator.  Mind you, I am pretty good 😉  I know he likes the work I do, plus the fact I can adapt reasonably easily.  These two factors definitely count in my favour.

Firstly, YAY CADEL!  I’m so proud <sniff> <wipes tear away>

Another good day.  Ironed two business shirts for C, cleaned both bathrooms, changed linen on both beds, and finished off the laundry, including some white towels I bleached, so they’re actually white again.  C vacuumed the house and even wanted to sort out the front room (our ‘crap room’) until I had to tell him his birthday presents were in there, unwrapped.  I ended up wrapping them and even started cleaning up the loose paperwork that was in that room.  Baby steps, baby steps.

I had lots of naps and also spent lots of quality time with the cat.  She’s spending all her time with us now, and sleeping in her box we’ve given her every night.  She’s such a darling.  Even C has completely fallen under her spell.  On the way home from work, the topic of discussion inevitably ends up being, will the cat be there when we get home?  She usually is.  Coincidentally we do normally feed her not long after we get home, but I prefer to think she likes to see us as well  😀

We have two turnovers this week, one mid-week (move out Tuesday, move in Wednesday).  I’m going to see if I can take a day of annual leave on Wednesday, which will make things a lot easier.

Today’s been a bit of an odd one.  Got off to a flying start by doing a property turnover in record time – about two hours, with C’s help.  Admittedly it was already pretty clean to start off with, so I didn’t have to do stuff like clean the shower or oven, but even so, two hours is amazingly quick.  The need for speed was due to the previous tenants moving out late morning, and the new ones moving in in the early afternoon.  Mission accomplished 😉

I maintained the forward momentum when I got home and did several loads of laundry.  However I’m sitting here feeling…. well…. flat.  Not sure why.  I’m happy, I got heaps done, and New York has just legislated to approve same sex marriage.  Fantastic!  So I’m not quite sure what’s missing in my brain for my mood to be low.  Maybe my fluoxetine is getting to it the long way around, who knows.