a fifo wife {fifo life: a few things}

by debbie on June 1, 2015

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The weekend went so fast so quickly it’s the first of June today, and I didn’t know and I am not happy about that because it’s all down here from here. Soon it will be August and then Christmas and another year gone.

I carry on a bit about time going by so fast, but seriously I can’t cope with it whizzing by like it does my kids will be gone before I know it.

Anyway, the weekend it was good a little non-productive for me but every day doesn’t have to be productive does it? The kids had a good one although potato chips being able to stay up past their bedtime and some iPad with always make it a good weekend in their eyes.

I am heading to Darwin on Wednesday to watch a reunion happen between my father and sister. It’s been 22 years between catch ups. It’s a surprise will keep you posted.

So with that said its Monday brand new week and these are the few things that caught my attention and have stuck with me.

1. I am watching a divorce play out. It’s not so much the couple and how that plays but the taking of sides. Oh my gosh, it’s a real thing, and it’s sad. Having said that I’m on the kids side whatever it takes to make them okay I’m there.

2. I keep running into a woman with three kids. She is everywhere I go except she doesn’t see me I see her- so stalkerish I know. Does that happen to you? Do you think it means something or its just a coincidence.

3. My husband sounded so happy today that it made the start to my day so awesome. My heart literally filled with warm fuzzy stuff.

4. Then my children then dropped two bowls of cereal on the floor but it didnt matter the warm and fuzzy sucked it right up.

5. 73 Questions with Victoria Beckham here.

6. There is now a new personality type in the mix here.

7. Sex positions here.

8. Duck lanes in London. I do love London. Here.

9. This is me and my dog{s} here.

10. 20 new ways – yes new way to wear your pony tail here.

xxDeb

 

 

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Last week I had my french friends over for dinner. I was so nervous about what to cook because when we entertain at home its husband that does the cooking whilst I just fluff around so I was super nervous.

Not only did this introvert brain of mine have to make conversation but it had to cook to; to a couple of Frenchies.

Melt down.

So after downing the last of the two-week old red wine that subsequently tasted like vinegar; but it was all I could lay my hands on. I perused my cook book library like a woman looking for the left shoe in the marked down shoe bin sale at Myers {because we have all done that}

Found I never intended to make something French I resorted to my Rachel Khoo’s ‘Little Paris Kitchen Cook Book’ because her stuff is simple.

So I decided on a potato bake, steak and a green salad. Easy.

Laying the potato bake or Gratin dauphinoise on the table they smiled and ate everything on the plate.

Is it okay I asked Ms P as she mulled over her meal she was taking so long to eat that I started to panic that the steak was to rare, the potato not cooked or the salad to simple, instead she said in her sweet french accent. This she said waving her knife across her plate taste exactly like my mother make me. The sauce. This. Exactly.

I never asked again because I took that as I sign I did good.

So simplest potato bake as commented on by a true french girl.

Cream Potato Bake 

Gratin dauphinois.

{I doubled the recipe}

1kg of waxy potatos

300mls of milk

300 mls of cream

teaspoon of mustard

1 teaspoon of salt

clove of garlic

Knob of butter.

How to: 

Peel the potatoes and cut into 3mm thick slices. Place in the pot with milk cream nutmeg mustard crushed garlic and salt and simmer for ten minutes.

Whilst this is simmering preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Rub the knob of butter around the dish.

Pour the potato and cream mix into the dish spreading out the potatoes evenly. Bake for 35-40 until golden.

Serve with a green salad and steak. Yum.

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I would rather be broke than be away from my family is often what I hear.

Ah no, you wouldn’t is what I say back because folk are ignorant. Most have never been broke and most never will. Going without Foxtel or internet isn’t broke.

Not being able to pay your bills, strategically planning how to make the 500 grams of mince and $1.79 frozen vegetables last the week is close. Or working out which piece of furniture should be sold next is on the road to being broke. Having someone tell you that you have 30 days to respond to their letter before actions will be taken to take your home to recoup outstanding funds is a big flag to say yep your almost broke.

Not being able to put food in your bellies is broke.

Before B1 was born, we were between jobs waiting for the next one. It had been weeks; months even I don’t remember because it was a hellish period that ran together. We were doing what we could, but it wasn’t quiet enough to pay the big bills. The rates, insurance and registration they all kept coming. Back then it was a matter of trying to delegate the most important food, electricity and fuel so we could get to the mowing jobs to earn the money. So I stopped paying the rates except council can take your house to pay the rates and sell it to recoup the $1200 you owe them without an issue.

Being on the road to being broke didnt happen because we were living an extravagant lifestyle it’s never been our style. The husband was working mowing lawns were he could. Then working in marble mines when he could while I was working five months pregnant on a hydroponic farm because I could no longer drive the mountain range, so we were making money; just not enough. So through circumstance we were on the road to being broke.
I have never been so scared in my life of losing what we had worked for, and it set us on the path of never being again. The enormity of being able to live day to day relationship strangling.

This is my story and I can only tell you what we have done..and this relates to FIFO or not..you don’t need FIFO to get out of a hole or get in one. Anyone can be broke in any industry it takes mind set and sacrifices to get out regardless of what you do.

Anything can be gone in an instant and so I like to think is applicable to anyone that earns a wage regardless. So determine what you can live on and do with the rest as you must. Pay off loans or place it straight on the mortgage. Make the hard work worth it. Don’t allow it down the Johnsons or Bakers competition sink hole because you will never get anywhere else.

This is how we live to ensure we are never there are again..its what we did and still do….

  • We don’t buy crap we don’t need. We don’t keep up with the Jones, the Bakers or the Johnson’s. We have a simple home, a ten-year-old car, and we don’t buy the latest gadgets. If we do, the husband has a rule of waiting till the second release comes out so all the tweaks are made and we know if we need it. Don’t buy a house that’s too big to manage or a car to large for you to own. Consider your needs over your wants and the cost of running of it.
  • Don’t get trapped into investment competition. This is so common for higher income earners i.e., I just brought my fifth rental property, or I just brought the 100k worth of shares. I hear it all the time from not only my miner and offshore friends but defense and civvy too. If that’s the case good for them, I get the whole telling of success and applaud it I do it also but often what gets forgotten is their circumstances are completely different to yours. Sometimes they never should have brought their investment in the first place but they aren’t going to tell you that.
  • Don’t fall for the ‘tax deduction’ theory. Check with your account before buying purely to get some of your tax back. The money spent may not be worth the additional 2K you receive.
  • Set up a budget. Know where every single cent is.
  • Get in advance on all your bills. Add up the totals of all your bills rounding the amount up in each case and dived by the number of pays you receive in the year. That divided then goes directly on to the bill or into an account especially for that. Set up a direct debit from your account, so it happens automatically every pay either onto the bill or into the account. Then don’t touch it.
  • Meal plan. Buy in bulk anyone with an ABN can. Consider your food intake limit processed food and where you buy it from. Online shop for supplements, food, and personal items if you can and if it works out cheaper.
  • Get in advance on your home loan especially now that the rate is so low and get rid of bad debt as soon as you can. Avoid combining bad debt into a home loan {perhaps?}. It means that 14 thousand dollar quad bike that you have used twice in six months will be worth a fortune in 30 years when you don’t have it selling it for just 6 thousand. Consider combining it into one big low-interest rate loan instead of credit card charging 21%. Talk to your bank or advisor.
  • Put away a portion of what you earn for savings even if its 5% of your wage. Ideally it should be 10% but let’s be realistic here sometimes your bad debt outweighs the good, and the other 5% needs to go to the bad debt first.
  • Don’t be afraid to sell off toys, clothes you don’t need. Downsize even. If you haven’t used in six month’s consider selling it. There is something freeing about getting rid of stuff and making a few dollars at the same time. It drives me insane when I say downsize and they say I can’t. Seriously everyone has crap they don’t need they don’t use that someone else wants it’s about a matter of emotionally letting go of it.
  • Don’t have a credit card unless you can use it properly and pay the entire balance off in the free days limit. If your after something that gives you points to go towards your reward consider the Qantas and Virgin cash cards for your bill account {we use the Qantas cash card – awesome}.
  • Having said all of that hard work needs to be rewarded so consider sensibly what yours is given your budget. Ours is family holidays away and even then it’s always on a budget, but that’s a whole other post but put some money aside for that.
  • Money can’t buy happiness and making money is hard work but being broke is even harder never be naive about that and for those that tell you different may their fairy tale have a happy ending.

xxDeb

*I am not a finance planner, please seek professional advice always.

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I was scrolling through facebook yesterday when I came across a thank you from a self-help guru. He was thanking his wife and children for supporting him for none of his dreams would be coming true without them. He thanked his wife for the looking after him and his children while he was gone. That he was doing this all for them so the could have the legacy his parents did not. He continued that without them he is nothing and coming home to them was the best thing in the world.

Now having followed this man for a while and his postings from various aircraft arm chairs in India, Melbourne, London and Dubai he has been either away a long time or often. Which I’m not sure. So it was interesting that whilst not surprising the comments left were awesome, so glad you have made it, well done. The congratulations of this man’s achievements was whilst well deserved it took all my might not to comment: now if FIFO husband had said that the comments would be different. I know they would be and yet the two dreams they are living are exactly the same. The dreams of creating a better life for his family exactly the same but the environment in which he is working to get them altogether different.

In my fifteen years with the exception of my family, I don’t think I have ever been told that my husband being ‘away’ from his family to earn a better income to create a better life is awesome. That pursuing the dream to leave a legacy is honourable, or that the dedication to pursue any of our dreams has resulted in congratulations.

Instead, I have had heard that we are all about the money. That my family and marriage are not real, that we are clueless and selfish. Yes, I do believe I have had them all including the most recent windfall comment and yet him chasing his dreams and the self-help guru chasing his dreams are exactly the same.

So why do we get perceived different? Is it because what we do is attainable to everyone and we are the ones that chose to take the path that is hardest to work and are rewarded the earliest and so its tall poppy? Or is it because there are those that go off course that get lost in the money and forget their plan and so become the beacon of what this is not about. Do we forget to take responsibility for ourselves and our actions? Or is it perhaps it seems that we are a bunch of bogans not working towards something? That we are bumbling fools without a plan. Perhaps?

Yet this is what I know – what you know. We are anything but a bunch of aimless bogans. We are go-getters, achievers, intelligent men and women and entrepreneurs. We work hard for our families and understand the concept of what’s precious and what is not  But incase you have veered from the plan be it for what ever reason personal, family, marriage to gain health build wealth or ‘find happiness’ here a few tips to help you get back on track because everyone even a self-help guru needs a plan.

What is your ultimate goal? What do you want from life? Be it FIFO or not. For us, it’s the choice of retirement in our 40’s but for now its about the RNR. We worked hard to find work that paid well and had an equal time roster. For a friend of ours its so he can not only have a house but pays his child maintenance; sad but true.

Write your goals down, put the on a board, Pinterest, share them on an iPad via Evernote, so your partners at home or work can see them. So your goals are at the forefront of your mind so on a bad day when its all to hard you can see it that nothing in life comes easy, but it will eventually come.

How long are you doing it? What is your timeline to achieve the goal ? If you need break it down into smaller steps do so. If your only going to FIFO for as long as you have paid off your house or created a decent hole in the mortgage then do it until then. Don’t pay off the house then say I will just work three months for a pool. You will never leave FIFO you will never reach your goal of paying the mortgage to be with your family. Don’t be deterred by extra toys you don’t need a quad bike to be part of the dream if you never go camping.

Who are your support people? Who will help you get there?  Find your group the ones that will help you when you and your family need it most. Personally this might be your neighbours, friends and often its not your family. Know who you can count on but then through the course of pursuing your dreams you will find out who they are anyway. Outsource if  you need it. If you need a trainer to lose 10 kilos or

Outsource support and advice if  you need it. If you need a trainer to lose 10 kilos or finacle planner to help you manage the money and show you the best way to get your goal done do it but always know where and what your money is doing. None one can do it on their own. Richard Branson, Donald Trump Seth Gooden never made it on their own they all had the support of someone else.

None one can do it on their own. Richard Branson, Donald Trump Seth Gooden never made it on their own they all had the support of someone else.

And reassess and always communicate with your partner and with your children. Remembering what the goal is what you want and the way you are achieving. Ensuring it is the right way for your family. What’s working and what’s not. Remembering no one has it better or worse in the completing of a dream. You are in this together a team and if you’re not you’re in trouble, and you need to fix it fast. Your family is part of the plan they are the plan and loosing them as part goal isn’t the plan nor the goal.

xDeb

 

 

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a fifo wife {a fifo life: a few things}

by debbie on May 25, 2015

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Oh gosh lovelies the weekend came and went that so doesnt happen often and it was a good weekend. I can’t stress how awesomely good it was but then I think it goes hand in hand with my new ‘attitude’ I found since not working out side the home and going back to working inside the home, whole other post. But anyway today is a rainy, cold Autumn day and yet I am about to get myself together and go for a swim in the heated pool in town.

We climbed a mountain yesterday- we so did- it was only 4.3kms long round trip but had a summit of 1017 I know doesn’t sound like much however much of it was literally vertical with ropes to help pull yourself up. Awesome it was, however, my kids bounded up; the youngest literally running most of the way while I wanted to vomit at various points. That feeling of being unfit made me so cross with myself. I have always regarded myself as rather fit and so we are stepping it up a further notch and missing the gym because of class readings the heated pool will do.

So in saying all that these are the things running through my head.

1. Last week was my last week working outside the home and as much as I loved working be it with avocados I’m glad to be home. Inside baking cakes, writing, cleaning weet bix off the wall and all that glamorous stuff. Ask me in three weeks and I’m not sure my answer will be the same.

2. I had dinner with friends on Friday night. They brought wine. I had to borrow more wine from my neighbour. The dramas of a nonish drinker and the embarrassment of assuming that they were because they never mentioned they did.

3. AM back to writing my menu plans its madras lentils, roast chook with lemon and garlic, minute steaks, mushroom risotto and the week wouldn’t be complete without spag bol now would it.

4. I’m going to Darwin next week my father’s sister is visiting there. She has never been out of New Zealand, and so they haven’t seen each other for 22 years. She wants to surprise him she thinks it’s great I do believe he might have a heart attack.

5. I have started watching Penny Dreadful that’s as thrilling as my evenings are at the moment.

6. I want to be as snappy as her when Im 90 years old here.

7. We are go getters so naturally how to stay fit and healthy as one. Here.

8. If you use facebook then you need to follow these guys here.

9. I started writing my life to my boys in these journals here and I could have just prinnted these but as keepsakes this is more special.

10. Cried and cried . A mum stands in for her son at prom because of a car crash. Here.

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Why didn’t you do it, mum?
Because I was afraid I said looking straight across the table to B3, who was passionately eating some chicken nuggets. If only he ate all my dinners like that I thought.

‘Mummy was always being asked to be captain of her sports team, dance team; I was always being told by employers I should trust myself my more I never did not really. My personal life I don’t hold fear, but I was professionally fearful. The idea that everyone is looking at me makes me want to vomit. I am frightened of making a fool of myself and failing. ‘ I said to him wondering if telling them this was a good idea.

B2 looked at me his blue eyes popping with a smile.
‘I am not afraid’ he said.
‘I know you’re not’ I said, ‘but I know when you are.’
He smiled again his gappy front teeth telling me everything, ‘but I will try anyway’ he said.

I looked at B1 eating silently then back to B3 who continued his merry way downing every nugget in front of him like it was his last meal.

I was just about to sigh with relief that the fear factor I have hadn’t been passed on to them when from the far corner of the table came B1 ‘That’s how I am mum. I am frightened of everything all the time’.

Now despite knowing B1 has his quirks and social challenges I have never thought him a fearful boy he seemed so brave as he trundled through life in his own world. So while I wasn’t surprised to hear it. How he feels is normally kept to himself despite how often you ask.

I wanted to reach across the table, but that would include an awkward reach amongst the sauce bottles. Stupid now because my kid is worth the sauce stains on a house dress. Instead, I slid up the pew to sit across from him.

‘Are you I’ asked again.
‘Yes’, he said ‘All the time’.
And so a hot lump raised in my throat, and my eyes watered as I looked at him going silent again.

‘Well, I said to him trying to shake the lump being scared a little is okay its what makes us careful and makes us make good decisions. And yours B1 are the best but if we are frightened all the time it will stop us from being the best we can be.

‘What are you scared of now’ they asked me in unison.

Just stuff I said looking at them all assuming they are all three years old again and that the conversation was over.

It wasn’t.

‘You’re scared of my spider’ asked B3 picking up his fake plastic tarantula.

‘No’ I said smiling at him.

‘Naw’ was his response with such disappointment.
‘No for me its work stuff’ I said grabbing the BBQ sauce.

‘So it’s the same stuff’ B1 said quietly across from me chewing open-mouthed on a chip.

Yessssss I replied as the penny dropped surprising myself and realising that B1 had linked a & b together. Something uncommon for him.

‘Well’, he said preparing to lick the plate clean before eyeing me and thinking better of it.
‘I won’t be scared if you won’t’ he said.
‘Okay’, I said it’s a deal.

Now let me tell you there is nothing like making a deal with nine-year-old who gets it as much as you if not more to get your crap together.

So here is a couple of steps to deal with fear no matter what it is because in the three months since this conversation him and I have made massive progress.

1. Work out what exactly you are frightened of. I’m scared of needles and making a fool of myself- professionally. My personal life it’s on donkey kong but professionally its a different story. It’s a confidence issue but lets not even get started on that I have worn a hole in the couch already.
2. Think positively Hence my optimism. I can’t see any other way to think. It’s a trick of the brain otherwise some days I may never get out of bed nor write. Thinking positively keeps the fear at bay.
3. Consider all outcomes seriously. All potentially worst case scenarios. This is a favourite method of mine when step five aint working for me. Are they that bad that you shouldn’t do it? Nobody will die if I get rejected by Mindfood magazine when I send them that pitch. The worst case scenario that could happen is that my husband finally loses it because I have aired all our laundry to help others but so far he is still here.
4. Set goals to get over the fear. Steps to get to the prize so to speak. It may or may not be a step by step guide to putting my feet on the floor in the morning.
5. Just jump in the deep end. B1 and my own current and favourite method. Thus far, it’s working and wouldn’t you know it. I am still waking up in the morning. Mindfood hasn’t responded, nobody died, and my husband is still talking to me.
xxDeb

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I have been away so long that there is webs on the key board however farm work is done and here I am back to what I like to do most. Trust me if I am to pack or pick another avocado I will cry. We shifted 15 tonnes a day 15 tonnes ah but thats not what your here for.

Anyhoo so I have been away so long I am unsure what you might like from me. Shall we travel on the same path and I just bumble along or or would you like to tell me what you want?

I would love to know what you want and w

ell incase you would like to tell me what you want I whipped a little survey to help me know you. Its just seven questions long and would be super appreciative if you could take the time to answer it for me.

No information is shared with a second or third party just little ole me and that will never happen. Ever.

Link to tell me what you want from here is here.

Thank you sweet things..

xxDeb

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You must be still in your thirties she said because you still care what people think about you and I bet you get your knickers in a knot that people may not like you or your opinions.

It was my gynecologist and I nodded as she took her head out from between my knees. My gyno is the most awesome woman in the world. Seriously. Coolest woman ever apart from my friend Ms R.

Yeah I said kind of.

You know the trick to that she said?

What I propped myself up on my elbows, closed my knees and tried to recreate some decorum.

Well she said once you realise whats important to YOU she said emphasising it with the schlick of the gloves coming off then everyone elses opinions thoughts ideals be what they may of you or what you think they may be will fall by the way side.

I do know whats important to me I said.

Perhaps she said not really believing me but the minute you know whats important to you being ‘selfish’ suddenly becomes all right. Knowing what you stand for, believing in yourself knowing your opinons and whats important to you will change your world.

And it’s either that or the fact that I’m nudging closer to {hyperventilating} 40 but she is right.

What do you think?

Is that key to not caring what people think?

Do you have another tip?

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a fifo wife {fifo life: a few things}

by debbie on May 11, 2015

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I’m listening to the sound of my kids playing and its seriously the loveliest sound in the world. Give them ten minutes and they will be at each throat as someone accidently knees someone in the nose. I know ever the optimist but ever the realist too lets not get to airy-fairy here.

So we are in the month of May I am so not fine with that..husband will back to work in just a few days and winter is on its way. Love winter? Have I mentioned I love winter? But then I live in a place where its winter just 6 weeks and pfffttt it’s gone and even then can I call it winter? Well I turn on the electric blanket and light the pot belly so yes I call it winter and will do, southerners like it or not.

Now its been awhile since a few things ran…But here are the few things from around the web to start your week off with a thought or two

Anyhoo here are the few things from around the web to start your week off with a thought or two. Its a mixed bag a bit like the thoughts in my head.

1. So you want to live to 100 here

2. China is cracking down on funeral strippers here.

3. How to rescue a burnt dinner here.

4. A busy girls guide to mediating here.

5. Leonardo is building a eco resort here.

xDeb

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a fifo wife {fifo life: mother love}

by debbie on May 8, 2015

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 (Photo courtesy Kate Murray, Kate Murray Photography)

These images have gone viral for good reason.

To me, they are a powerful visual depiction of what mothers love is.

For Kate Murray the Florida Based photographer who had the honour to capture the images of mum feeding baby despite having undergone chemotherapy and a mastectomy was

Strength, love, and pure raw beauty”.

According to reports the mother in the photo was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer while she was pregnant. She went through chemotherapy and had one breast removed while carrying her baby. The birth was induced at 36 weeks in order for her to receive more treatment.

Kate Murray the photographer who captured the images reportedly said via her Facebook page

“Baby boy was born ready to prove to the world his strength he inherited from his strong mommy.

 He latched on to her remaining breast all on his own and the room erupted in so many emotions.

Breastfeeding is such a sacred bond, and this one just makes my heart break and swell at the same time.

I am beyond blessed to have met and gotten to know this woman and her family, and so honored she asked me to be there to document these precious moments.”- Kate Murray.

Currently, Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in Australia (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer). With one in eight women developing breast cancer in their lifetime and in rare cases 1% in men. Early detection is critical in increasing survival rates.

Kate Murrays Facebook account has since been disabled, and I am unable to locate her or her contact details. All credits of the images are credited to her.

xx Deb

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