• Money Matters,  Retirement

    Reverse mortgage warning

    A Reverse Mortgage or Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) loan enables Senior Australians over 60 years to access the equity in their home as security to borrow money. This can be taken as a regular income stream, a lump sum, a line of credit or a combination of these options. Seniors who contemplate a reverse mortgage are often asset rich but cash poor. But is a reverse mortgage a good alternative to downsizing or some other solution? To begin with I am not about to venture into the territory of securing a reverse mortgage. My interest comes from reading about the availability of reverse mortgages and the experiences of others.…

  • Life Day By Day,  Retirement

    Just do it…

    Just do it is a trademark of the company Nike. It is a well-known motivational slogan. Years ago, either 1995 or 1996 I adopted the slogan for the year. To me this meant that I would just get on with life and my goals. To keep me motivated friends bought me a T-shirt that had “just do it” embroidered across the front. The aim was to “just do it” rather than procrastinate. That word procrastinate is the reason why many of us should not make New Year’s resolutions. They may motivate us for a few weeks but after that it is very easy to go back to old habits. Apparently it…

  • Life Day By Day,  Life Matters,  Live Simply to Simply Live,  Living with Chickens

    Laugh Out Loud

    It is Friday and for all those Monday – Friday workers, it’s time to laugh out loud (lol). If you are in that situation do a reconnaissance around your office. Are more people laughing the closer it gets to 5pm on a Friday? If not, perhaps your organisation needs a laughing coach. There is evidence to show that a happy and engaged workforce is more productive. But with me and “my one and only” (O&O) we are no longer in the workforce, so not reliant on people we work with to keep us laughing. It does make a difference to your life if you surround yourself with people who are…

  • Health Matters,  Socio-Political

    Are we Work Rich and Time Poor?

    When I was in full-time paid work I became aware of the “work rich and time poor” culture. It was a common theme I heard from people in the workplace. By “work rich” I mean that everyone had so much work it could not reasonably be done in a day or a 36-38 hour week. In my work environment many workers, particularly managers, would frequently lose their accumulated hours. These hours were never paid or taken off as time-in-lieu. Many years ago I analysed my hours of work (in a Queensland Government job) and discovered that I worked 15 months in one 12 month period. There are reasons why people…

  • Life Day By Day,  Retirement,  Self-Sufficiency

    I’m Ready for The Block!

    Yes, I am ready to be a contestant on The Block. I am undertaking my apprenticeship to get me prepared.  While it is true I am not a regular viewer of The Block, sorry Scott, Shelley, Jamie and crew, I know people who are addicts of the show. So what am I doing to get prepared as a contestant. A DIY painting job. Now that I am in the prime of my life (aka retired) I have more time to attend to such matters and show my “one and only” that girls are fully capable as a tradie. Do It Yourself (DIY) is about living simply and just doing it…

  • Life Day By Day,  Living with Chickens,  Retirement

    Weather, Weight and Wrinkles

    It has been raining at our place most of the year to date (140mms), therefore the weather is getting my attention.  Given I am indoors for most of the time I am preoccupied with the weather, my weight and my wrinkles. Let’s start with the weather. I love the rain and the mist. As we live on the southern escarpment of the Blackall Range we get low cloud cover and mist hovering over and around us. The lawn and garden is drinking in the rain. Most of the year our garden is green but right now it is a verdant green to be envied. But with all this rain what about…

  • Life Day By Day

    Scattered Straws: 2014 in review

    Thank you to all my blog visitors since I commenced Scattered Straws in May 2014. I have enjoyed writing posts for the site; undertaking research; providing information about events in my life and those happening around me; taking photographs in an attempt to make my posts more interesting and being inspired by comments from readers. On the busiest day of the year on Scattered Straws the most popular post was “My Life with Chickens”. Yes, the Princesses are admired not only for their beauty but their antics! I was heartened to read in my blog site yearly statistics review that there have been visitors from 55 countries. Most of the…

  • Life Day By Day,  My Garden

    The Orchard Swallowtail Butterfly

    I looked out the window from my home office and saw a colourful butterfly, then two butterflies. They seemed to be engaged in a mating ritual. As I had never seen this phenomenon before I grabbed my camera and went to investigate. An SLR digital camera is just what is needed in such a situation. Today I experienced one of the rewards of retirement and spending time staring out the window. After downloading the photos I went about identifying the species. The male and female have very different colours. The male is black with pale blue and white and the female is brown with orange and blue spots. As I…

  • KJ's Kitchen,  Life Day By Day

    Ricotta Cheese Making at Home

    This week I went to a Mad Millie cheese making class for beginners (see www.madmillie.com). Learning about the basics of cheese making that can be done at home was a great way to spend part of my day. We learnt to make Whole Milk Ricotta, Mozzarella and Bocconcini. Today I made Ricotta which in Italian means re-cooked. The traditional Italian method for making Ricotta was with sheep’s milk. The whey (left over from cheese making) is recooked, brought to the boil and sometimes extra milk is added. The proteins left in the whey through this process rise to the top to form clumps to make the Ricotta. The recipe I…

  • Living with Chickens,  Retirement

    Chook Psychology

    My Etiquette Training School continues as I use my chook psychology to teach the Princess Chickens good manners for their daily lives. It is not always easy, particularly when I turn up with food. At that time all manners go out the window. I am pleased that I studied psychology all those years ago as I need this in my role as lady-in-waiting (one of my titles) for the Princesses. I am at their “beak and call”. I do everything for them, clean, provide food and drink and teach them manners. I have had some success. The Princesses all go up into the rest room at night and roost on…