Friday, 17 January 2020

2020 preparation: the budget thing

the budget thing

2020 preparation

This is the year that I want my finances to return to a more positive situation. Over the last two years, I had sixteen months where there was no space for me to earn money. I work from home. This was incredibly difficult and frustrating, and seriously ate away at my savings. But now I'm in a place where I can work from home. Moving three times for various reasons, over two years, didn't help either.

the time budget

In a way, a lot of my organising for 2020 has been about this. 

It's quite different from when you get up and leave the home to go to work. Working from home, I've found that I can get really slack and waste time. And I also can just obsessively work dawn to dusk. I'm looking at a "middle ground", and I feel that this also is just like a budget: a time one. 

Because working from home does require "rules" for myself, just to get things done. And also, time off working. 

Hence my spending a lot of time and thought on advance organising. So that I don't spend hours every week in cafes, nor waste hours on the internet. 

my $ budget

For me, money is more than about earning. It's also about how I spend my money. Which I think is also important. Just as I don't like to waste my life, I also don't like to waste money. Which, incidentally, I have been. I've been careless which mysteriously eats away at funds. 

I've already started the $ thing. For example, I was out briefly doing food shopping today, and realised I was hungry, and craving sugar. I didn't want to go to a bakery nor a cafe, and a banana wasn't going to do the job, so I spent time reading  labels on biscuit packets. I managed to get one without sugar, without palm oil, and I calculated the $ to see how they worked out cost per serve. And had some at home with a cuppa. Then I reveled in "saving money" smugness. Of course, that banana would have been better for me.

Disorganisation with food has been my worst area, and doesn't help with weight problems. It works out expensive in the long run. 

I've taken myself "in hand":

  • I worked out what I was going to be eating at home, and when. Guilt for having been so hit or miss here
  • I made sure that what I needed was in the cupboards or fridge which was not what had been happening
  • I do not stock up as though a famine is coming, because, yep, that's also a great way for me to waste money with produce going "off"
  • I've resumed cooking. Yes, I've bitten the bullet and done it

I feel as though I deserve a medal.

what else?

  • I have avoided all of the clothes sales and op shops 
  • I am meticulously and systematically going through all of my skin care and make-up with a self imposed ban on buying more
  • I have a yellow beetle (VW). Yes, serious envy from many. I know. However, it will be hell getting a baby (new grandchild is due soon) into a car seat in this adorable little yellow bubble, with only two doors. So I am saving for a more baby-child-friendly car. Not an expensive one, just a more practical one. The things we do for love!
  • I've joined a new, very local, gym. It's mega cheap, the personal trainer sessions are ridiculously low, and it will cost me less than one coffee and nibble cafe visit per week. Someone told me that they found it easier to go to the correct place to do a workout, and this has preyed on my mind as a good option. So I've bitten the bullet and signed up 

my clothes budget

This is not how it seems. It's more about how I spend $ on clothes rather than setting aside a sum of money. 

Some years ago, a friend told me that she had four tops and four bottoms (skirts and pants) to wear with her flat heeled knee high boots, for work. And, she always bought her clothes second hand. She also had jeans and such for when she wasn't working, but definitely not heaps of clothes. I realised recently that I had taken her advice to heart, without even realising it, and for years I had only been doing the four tops and four bottoms thing, summer and winter. Not including cardigans and coats.

It has been difficult, on reflection. Who are these minimalist people who have ten garments at a time? Does that include shoes, bags, coats, and so forth?

Do they have clothes dryers? I don't and I can tell you that a lot of my time is spent getting my washing dry so that I have clean clothes. This is not good for my time budget. 

So, I have decided that it has to be five tops and five bottoms. I can manage that.

What do you do? 

Friday, 10 January 2020

2020 preparation: the schedules thing

the schedules thing

2020 preparation



I am that somewhat anal person who likes to plan. Overplan actually. yet, ironically, I also can and do drop my plans when I get an unexpected text or phone call, to spend time with someone who matters: friends and family. 

So, this is what I have been doing for years. I'm not the person to load up my phone nor computer calendar with to-dos, so I just use my same old system:
  • wall calendar for blocking out important full days and, well, just pre planning. Such things as deadlines and working a full day at a friend's crystal fair. Oh, and if I actually go on a holiday. Maybe I don't actually need a wall calendar, however I always get given a nice one given to me at Christmas. I can truthfully say that The Fireman one was perhaps the most visually interesting (!)
  • small diary for weekly and daily stuff, birthdays and such. I'm quite religious with this, it's my organisational lifeline. I transfer from my wall calendar to this as well
  • monday mornings or sunday evenings have been my planning dates for some years, now. Into the diary for the week coming
  • if I'm say, going shopping, I make a note of this and anything else that I want to remember when I'm shopping such as "return library books"' and I put them into a carry bag right then and then 
  • if I'm out and about and make arrangements to do something, I write it into my notes file in my phone, and transfer it when I get home
  • shopping lists are kept in my notes file in my phone

my reasons for schedules

I've done my best to make it all just all so easy peasy. Now, why am I so organised to do all of this? It's because I forget to do things, go places, and so on, if I don't. And then I just simply waste my time. I want a life well lived, not wasted!

And another nerdy reason: I read years ago that one of the Alberts (Einstein or Schweitzer, I forget which one), said that they always wrote down their phone number, so they didn't have to remember it. I can't recall word for word, but the gist of it was that he preferred to use his memory for more important things. And I took this on board. If it's good enough for one of the Alberts, then it's good enough for me! Also, I don't want to waste my memory recall on "things" that I actually don't need to carry in my head.

daily stuff

I'm a firm believer in so much of life being about habits. And I include bad habits in this! 

And that if things aren't working out in an area, continuing doing those things the same way, will always produce the same results. Not rocket science, but sometimes I do need to remind myself of this. Well okay, often I need to remember it.

So, because I work from home, I've had to re-examine my daily life routines:
  • fitness. If I can't get it done in the morning, which is my preferred time, then I can slot it into another time that day. Because I've structured it this way. And if I have to miss a day, it's okay, because that same structure means it's easy to get back into the next day
  • diet: what we eat and when. I did the same for this. It's not perfect, but at certain times, I'm aiming to eat and drink certain things. And, make sure that I've got everything that I need at home
  • work: the at-home stuff. I worked out my best times for being creative, and also for logical thought. To make it all easier. I write, and I do yoga routines for people. I also do healing and sometimes readings, at home, and if I have a schedule in place, again, it's not the end of the world if I put it aside to do a healing
  • moi time. I get bored really easily. And I'm really good at just blobbing out and forgetting to do things. This includes moi stuff. Some things I'm excellent at, though, like removing my small amount of make-up each evening, and getting out my clothes for the following day. So, yep, I've been put into le schedule too
  • study. I do pick something like, for example, how to ask particular questions and how to answer them. Then I just keep going with it until it's firmly ensconced into my brain
I truly want this to be a great year, so this is another reason for some schedules for daily life. Fit in what I need to do so that I have time to also do all of the other "stuff" that I love to do.

What about you?

Saturday, 4 January 2020

2020 preparation: the home thing

the home thing

getting ready for 2020

         the start of plants in my home, from my daughters

Mysteriously, my lovely tidy home has silently morphed into being messy. Which easily can happen when I am overwhelmed. Which I have been. So this is my first area of organisation. I get quite fed up having to spend tons of time cleaning, which is what happens when I don't do little bits regularly. The current state and results of post-Christmas and New year disarray are:
  • I have had my code cracker puzzle book right next to where I sit for meditation. B-i-g mistake. Meditation was not happening because of it, but gee I am getting so good at those puzzles. Which have now gone into a cupboard where I can't see them
  • my te reo Maori workbooks were under a pile of folded washing. I have (unsuccessfully) been trying to use photographic memory to remember pages from my workbooks, believing, rightly or wrongly, that this will help my learning. Since this is failing miserably, it seemed that the washing piles had to be be put away, and proper revision put into place. Which is first thing after my morning must-dos. thirty to sixty minutes of relearning and I must say that it is getting easier 
  • I had all sorts of study and writing notes piled under the folded washing pile too, all over the place. I really have to have a new system of folders and such for all of this
  • More second hand books keep sneaking into my abode, from The Vintage Book fairy. A lot actually. I just can't help myself in this area. I just keep doing it, thinking: oh well, cheap reads. They need to be shared with an Op Shop
  • my kitchen is clean and sparkly which makes me not want to mess it up, by cooking. I suspect that I need to Get Over This and learn How To Do The Kitchen Thing. Especially as health and fitness are high on my list for 2020
  • I have been so disorganised and all of my new plans are a bit all over the place. I mention this in my messy house list, as I (mostly) work from home
  • I do actually know that my messy might be someone else's coziness
  • I have been a tad overwhelmed by it all
  • my fridge seems to always be empty

how I would like my home life to be

  • I often have friends over, so that's nice. And although I truly am a lazy cook, I actually can make nice vegan and gluten free foods. It is rewarding to cook for others, so more social times are in order, methinks
  • I like every thing neatly and somewhat anal-ly, put away so that I can live in a nice environment. I obviously need to do a bit more in this area 
  • I love flowers, and the smell of lavender essential oil or sandalwood incense, everywhere. Very feminine
  • I would love one of those bedrooms that look like a magazine bedroom, which is probably not going to happen, so I am going to find a nice compromise here
  • oh, and why not look nice myself in my home
  • I want to put out some potted plants for colour

All nice Libran type home aspirations. And do-able. So the above, yes, it is my new plan. It seems to be ongoing: 

  • cook (or not!)
  • clean
  • do washing
  • tidy sneaky hidden areas like cupboards
Always. Always. Ah, I've just realised my New Thing for 2020, in the home:

put away and clean as I go

Which I was previously doing. So maybe what I really need to do is:

  • to look at Things Which Overwhelm 
  • and What To Do About Them
so that I don't get so messy (for me) again.  Having too much to do in my life is definitely one of the reasons.

Again: I'm not alone in this? Surely not?

Friday, 3 January 2020

a week of preparation for 2020

the new year thing:

 2020 preparation

(my new Frankie 2020 calendar)

a week of organising

Wow. I'm a bit overwhelmed as I've just started a new at-home
business. As if still studying te reo Maori (mostly at home);
doing healings and readings at home; teaching some yoga
private classes out and about; and blogging, weren't enough.
Not to mention family and friends as well. Overkill, that's me.

But life leads us all in strange directions. For me, the direction

that I have felt for a few years that I should be taking, but was
too insecure and too worried about other people's opinions,
to actually do, has finally arrived.

The Good Ole Universe has supplanted my own wee moi-iverse

and pushed and shoved me into What I Should Be Doing. Eeks!
Terror! Strangely, an astrologer told me decades ago what I
should be doing, and I did do it. But in groups, in a share the
glory way. Which, truth be told, was definitely not the best way
for me. Quite the opposite, actually.

I need to organise myself

Yes, I do. I am quite organised already, but not enough. So I

thought that I would start 2020 AD, with a week of organising
myself. And hopefully there will be some ideas for you, too.
Maybe some will be too pathetic, and maybe some too weird,
but…. Maybe. 

And hopefully you will in turn let me know any useful ideas and

Back in One Of The Day/s everyone except moi was rushing to
Money And You seminars, and How To Do Business; Be Positive;
do firewalking; etc etc (as so many of us did do), I had Been Doing
Business for years, but I didn't not go. I didn’t have the money
for one thing, and I wasn’t attracted to all of these methods
being presented. But one of my friends very cleverly took everything
on board, business wise, and headed off in a revolutionary new
direction using her current knowledge and all of these new
systems. But I didn’t really see too many of my other associates
do that. 

Why am I mentioning all of this? I guess it’s about knowing when
and how to use what we learn that’s new, and apply it to our
existing talents and knowledge. Oh, guess what? That’s what I’m
intending to do. 

proper prior preparation

This is one of the principles presented Back In Those Days by a
highly successful training group. In organisation, teamwork and
business. They trained all of the hoi-poloi such as famous yachties,
football teams, important  corporations. Big names all. And I love
this tip of proper prior preparation. There were more “p” words to
it, but I forget what they were. It’s about being organised and
preventing problems, really. 

Doing the right things, in advance, for what you are going to do.
Getting everything together. And, in my case, organising myself a
bit better. For what I’m going to be doing. And for my life. I also
want to get personal stuff organised so that I stop doing the
double-Libran procrastinating thing. Putting off things because I
haven’t organised my moi stuff and fitted it in. Am I alone in this?
I suspect not. And then not being able to take this course of
action. Or that one. Just because, in my Libran way, I can't
decide which one to do.

Which is just so exhausting and not rewarding. And certainly not

How do you sort out this sort of dilemma?

Friday, 27 December 2019

that was the year that was

2019 review from moi 

2019 in review
I'm not sure that this is always the best thing, going over everything all of the time. But because I can feel a new-to-me life on the horizon of 2020, I'm looking at what I did and didn't achieve in 2019; lessons learnt;  and so forth. In a pondering let go of and move forward type of way, on one hand. And yes! hold fast to this and that, on the other hand.

best news

I've been involved in yoga spirituality for decades, and Maori spirituality for ten years. But the most spiritual moments of all, for me, have been the birth of new life. The magic and hope of creation. Something that is greater than us. And this year, I had the wonderful news of a new granddaughter. She's almost here. I was a working solo mum with my youngest child, and my eldest grandchildren are her age and just a few years younger. Then a couple between twenty and sixteen. So, I didn't have much time to spend with all of them. Which I have always felt a sense of loss over. But I am to be spending more time with New Baby Girl, so I feel very privileged. Without a doubt, this is my best news of 2019.


It's quite obvious that I am not an auditory person, so learning a new language has not been easy. But studying te reo Maori has been fantastic. Even though I do have a long way to go. I hope to go back as a visitor to the new beginners course at the local Marae, for however long I can. And do the next level at night school, two nights a week. In the meantime, I have Scotty Morrison's amazing first four workbooks, so I'm aiming for thirty minutes of revision daily. The biggest problem has been that I do not have someone to regularly converse with in Maori. My great grandchild, at the age of three, can already talk some Maori, so hello Toby..... do you want to chat in te reo with Granny?


This has been a "what the?" year, health wise. Auckland had a number of very determined viruses whipping violently through our city. It seemed to be about six months of infectious bugs. One in particular just kept coming back. It was not pleasant. I was sick just too often. I do think that I need to build up my immunity. With:

  • going to bed earlier. It fits in better with our cortisol rhythms. When cortisol (the stress hormone) is low, we need to sleep, and this happens before midnight mostly
  • I'm really sensitive. I have food allergies, am affected by faintly toxic smells, humidity, and dampness. All of these lower my immunity, so some new coping strategies are in order
  • time to tidy up The Food Thing with maybe juices which make me feel so good. And get even stronger with the no-sugar thing. Sugar makes my body quite weak
  • yoga is really helpful for immunity in that it reduces stress so well. I have moved it to evening as this is when I really need to slow down
  • meditation helps too. However as a long time meditation teacher I do not believe that it is for everyone. But it is for me, first thing each morning
  • yoga breathing as in the cleansing breaths keep my immunity up. If I actually do them, that is. I really sloped off this year. Not a good look
  • the very best way that I personally know of to have good health and resistance to bugs, is to go walking in all weather. From sunny through to cold rain. This is best done in the morning for me
  • a cold or somewhat cool sortie under the shower at the end of your nice warm one, I find this really makes an effect with immunity, too
  • for may people, going to the gym, or running, sports, whatever, not only helps deal with stress but also thereby building up immunity


  • I take a couple of private yoga classes each week, and a few seminars throughout the year. Which I really love doing
  • I've been a healer for twenty-five years, and I love doing this too. I don't advertise, people contact me. What I do is really very niche. I don't do massage, hard physical stuff, chakra balance. I do intense mental, emotional and DNA healing. Not the sort of healing that you would do for hours each day, though
  • I have a new direction with work, using my own knowledge from living a life, and spirituality. Mostly yoga

So that's all sorted. What isn't yet, is being organised with it all. I am. But not enough. I am that weird person who does best with a structured daily and weekly timetable. And if something interesting comes up, I am also okay with letting go of that day's timetable and just enjoying myself.


I have quietly and steadfastly been working towards a direction with my two blogs. I had hoped to do more however life over the past two years simply got in the way. For most of that time I didn't really have space nor privacy to write, which really affected my plans, but hey, now I have. I love having my blogs. On my yoga one, I've been going through an ancient yoga scripture. I know that this really only appeals to yoga people,  but I'm okay with that. 

my plan

  • looking at what I've be doing, or the way that I've been, in most areas of my life
  • having a look at what could be changed for the better, whether it's what, how, why and so forth, or even eliminated
  • how I would like things to be
  • and most importantly: the changes that I can make that are doable and achievable in regards to how I would like things turning out, being
I don't mind if things aren't perfect.  I'm okay with changing and seeing what does and doesn't work. And this is my direction for 2020. Get some things established in a more meaningful, doable way. Because it's going to be a busy year, and I'd like to enjoy the journey.

What about you?

Friday, 20 December 2019

seasons greetings

                               Image may contain: 3 people
3 little Inch girls at Bayswater meeting Himself, I'm on the right

'tis the season

I was getting ready to write my blog, so full of excitement (hey, I like writing my blog!) and wanting to spread cheer, but I watched the news on tv first. 

Holey Moley. I felt really shallow for a while, even writing a blog. So much devastation and heartbreak in the world. It took hours to let those feelings come and go. Overnight, actually. However, my own natural optimism has come up again; so here we go.

It is the season to be jolly. Goodwill to humankind. And, for many, to everything-kind: animals, birds, fish, plants. Everything. Sometimes, though it is a stressful time, and I also have had my years of that. But times have changed for me, and I am very grateful that the whole Christmas family get together was first taken over by my daughters, and now a grand-daughter. They are all fantastic hosts and really good at the whole gathering thing.

Sadly, it won’t be the whole family, but I shall be cherishing the whole day anyway. I always get rather quiet because I am so overawed that everyone present is my descendant or their partner. Quite overwhelming and it emphasises for me the preciousness and miracle of Life, and creation. 

We have only one wee person there On The Day, and his parents are hoping that those reindeer don’t leave a mess on their verandah on Christmas Eve. Like a pooh-ey mess. (But I have heard a rumour)

As a young child, we would open our (meagre) presents from Santa in the morning. Mum didn’t have much money, but we always felt that our Christmas presents were special, and we were so grateful for them. As time went on, but I was no longer living with her, she had more money for Christmas. 

I vividly remember the night that  we were supposed to be asleep (as if!) and I looked out of the window, hoping to see you-know-who. But it was Mrs Santa Claus whom I saw. She looked just like Mrs Everett from the toyshop at Belmont, which I knew was just a coincidence. And she was carrying presents in her arms. Oh, happy day! Then we would all go to Nanna’s on Christmas Day. The whole family would be there. I loved that cousin time. Delicious food, presents.

And when I lived with Nanna, of course it was different. More grown-up, really. And everyone in the family came that day. That was one of the occasions when Nanna would say: "fhb", meaning "family hold back". And this was referring to the food. The visiting family members didn't have to, though.

With my own first family, we would open presents and have breakfast at home, with Peter’s parents. Then go to Mum’s for more presents, then to Nanna’s. During the day with all of this rushing and sneaky quaffing of chocolates by my kids, we had to deal with them throwing up. Every year. Consequently, I do not give sweets to children especially on that day. 
Of course, times changed. But the memories linger. Forever. In our hearts. With my youngest, it was quite different. I was doing communal living at that time (and no, I do not recommend it). She had to endure pre Christmas yoga chanting sessions, and they weren’t fun for the kids who came. Yeah, so I don’t recommend that, either. We did have some lovely Christmases when we were living up North, and I was flatting with a friend who had two little girls. And happy Christmases with my eldest's and their children.

My eldest have children my youngest’s age and younger. They are the new generation of adults. Providing children, hope and love and memories. How lucky am I?

Have a lovely Christmas season, everyone.

Friday, 13 December 2019

I've been spa-ing!

                             Image result for queen elizabeth health complex
                                        QE Health Complex

A new word, methinks. I have decided that it means "going to spas". Yes, more than one spa. I know. Lucky moi.

Off to Rotorua

When one of my dearest friends contacted me and asked if I'd like a trip to Rotorua with her and her partner, of course I said "yes". I was excited to be able to hang out with her for a few days, and also was amazed that they had organised spa visits. All expenses paid.


So off we went.  A day trip through New Zealand is always lovely. The scenery always changes, the small  townships, or are they villages? are nice. The hills are almost everywhere. Farms, forest and bush abound.

the most magical place

                              Image result for fitzgerald glade

Just out of Rotorua is a stretch of road, called the Fitzgerald Glade. The trees in the bush either side of the road curve over towards the opposite side, creating a canopy. But, I swear, the whole atmosphere changes as you  come to it's entrance. For it honestly has a magical vibration. As you drive through the canopy, you can feel something exciting and special in the bush, as though this magical element moves either side of the car, as you're driving. New Zealand has lots of mystical places where you can honestly feel that something special has, or is, happening in these places.


I've been to Rotorua a few times just for a meal, with my son and his family. As you do. Disappointingly, we didn't find any hangi (traditionally cooked Maori style) food. But the quality of the food everywhere was truly world class (take that, Auckland.... )

QE Health, Wellness and Spa

First up was a mud wrap, facial, then massage. I know. Tough. But someone has to do it. Amazing. This was at the famed QE (Queen Elizabeth) centre. It was used after World War 2 for rehabilitation for the soldiers. It has continued to be used as a therapy place for all sorts of conditions including fibromyalgia. There are all sorts of therapies employed, and of course there are the Hot Pools. When we went in through the main doors, I truly felt that I should bow in homage to all of the exemplary work that has been done there over the years. It was such a strong feeling inside of me. Something "hit" me as I came to the door: I could feel the tears, relief, and laughter, of years past.

Spa, spa, spa

I had a healing session elsewhere, which was advertised as Romiromi, which is the ancient Maori healing modality, which I have been doing for ten years. Disappointingly, it was not Romiromi, just a few of the moves, and was really mostly massage, including with hot stones.

I had a mud bath, back at QE. Hopefully to recover from the non-romiromi. Hilarious. Little short me, holding onto the sides of this ginormous tub filled with warm mud water, trying hard not to float around (or do I mean sink) in the pool sized bath. It was amazing though. And I nearly fell asleep afterwards.

That evening (we were only in Rotorua for two nights) we had a private rock pool by the lake. Oh my gosh. All of my aches and pains from ages past, simply disappeared.

There are two main types of hot pools in Rotorua. Acidic - known as the Priest pool due to the legend of a priest being cured of something whilst in one of these pools. And the Rachel pools, which are more alkaline. We were in a Rachel pool. I cannot describe how effective it was; amazing.

The next morning, leaving Rotorua, we headed towards Taupo for a short distance, to the Secret Spot, for coffee and cake on the deck, whilst we reclined and had our feet and legs in a hot tube. (Life is tough) An incredibly tranquil setting, just beautiful, and there were also big hot tubs. For some mysterious reason (sun, beautiful bush, coffee, cake, hot water leg and foot massage), we stayed ages. Loved it. 

It was probably one of the few times that I've been away anywhere for a few days just for a holiday. The last time that I was there was with my family: son, his wife (lovely honorary daughter), and a grandchild. We visited the lakes around Rotorua. And that's really nice too. And went through bush walks which were, well, magical.

The night that a mountain awoke

                            Image result for tarawera eruption 1886 facts
          artists view of the Pink and White Terraces

Rotorua has a lot of history, including an eruption of Mount Tarawera in 1886. It was devastating. The famous Pink and White Terraces (geo-thermal) were destroyed. We studied and translated a true story in our Te Reo Maori class about some people at The Terraces who were saved by a woman who took them into her Whare (house). They held up the ceiling to stop being buried alive. 

I was telling someone about our Rotorua holiday, and she told me an amazing story of one of her relatives of the time and place of the eruption, and how they were saved by a woman who took them to her home. I absolutely kid you not. I was gobsmacked.  

2020 preparation: the budget thing

the budget thing 2020 preparation This is the year that I want my finances to return to a more positive situation. Over the las...