Independence Days: The wet weather is over + Happy Australia Day!

Photo by: Leonrw

It’s been a soggy, wet week but the beautiful Southern California weather is back today. I haven’t seen weather like that since we’ve lived here. I’m sure we had more rain last week than we did all of last year. And wouldn’t you know it….we had put off making rain barrels on Saturday just before five solid days of rain. We also had tornado warnings which apparently are really unusual in the part of the country. All I could think of was, “Great….I’ve prepared for an Earthquake, but have no idea about dealing with a tornado!”

Yesterday I co-hosted a big party for Australia Day. It’s not Australia Day until 26th Jan, but since we don’t get that holiday over here, we threw a big party on the Saturday prior. We had over 200 people there so I’m really glad that’s over. I was exhausted last night and I’m having a quiet day today before I’m back to the grind tomorrow. I’m struggling a bit with motivation at the moment. I have less than a year until I’m heading back to Australia and all I can think about is how much I need to do before then. Ick!

My Independence Days updates are based on the principles I outlined in my plan for Self Sufficiency and Independence.


  • I’m still going well with my fitness regime. I’m feeling stronger already. I’ve decided to reward myself with a new pair of jeans when I’ve been at it for three months. Hopefully by then my current jeans will be too big.

Reducing Debt

  • I’m a debt reducing machine at the moment. Last week I sold a house, and today I receive a retention bonus from my work. By signing a five year contract to stay with my organisation, I get a year’s salary as a bonus (taxed of course). I know I’ve been very lucky to get the opportunity of secure employment for another five years at a time when many people are suffering from economic hardship. I had wanted to leave this organisation and start out in something I’m passionate about, but I’ve made the decision that is economically prudent at this time.  When I return to Australia, I’ll have the opportunity to move into a new role, so I hope there will be something available that is more aligned with my values.

Grow some food

  • The garden is looking a little waterlogged today after five days of rain, but the sun is out and I’m sure everything will dry out quickly.
  • Slugs and snails are chomping through the broccoli and collard seedlings, so I’ll have to install the slug trap that Brendan’s folks gave us for Christmas. (Don’t you love gifts that are this thoughtful?)
  • The snow peas are growing really well in a sunny portion of the courtyard. They were blown around a bit during this week’s gale force winds, but they seem to have survived unscathed.

Reduce Energy Dependence

  • I only rode to work a couple of times this week. The torrential rain, winds and tornado warnings were enough to keep me car-bound. I’m not that hardcore!

Plan to own some productive land

  • I’m still going back and forth on the decision about whether to buy land near a small country town or a large house block in a city. Friends who know me from Australia think I wouldn’t cope without the ability to walk to a cafe, but I feel like I’ve changed a lot in the last couple of years. I dearly love the peace and quiet of the mountains….but I also love the cultural and social aspects of a city. Oh boy…’s too hard. Maybe I’ll buy one of each!

One comment

  1. I have a bit too much land: 50 acres. Where I grew up, that wasn’t enough to grow much because the sand and swamps were pretty thinly topped. The land I have now is overwhelming in fertility, and the weeds love it. I have had to re-evaluate whether to stay or leave it for someone else to take on. If I stay, the goal is to build it up as a community in itself (thus, creating my own walk-to cafe), including extra bunks and sanitation facilities. So far, I’m just repairing roofs of the barns and planning the rest while reseeding pastures and building organic matter in the areas which will grow veggies.
    The only difference between tornado prep and earthquake prep that I know is that you learn to watch the sky and stay out of high places and always know where the nearest ditch or culvert is that you can lay low in. A house built for an earthquake will probably only lose some shingles (unless directly in the path) and windows.

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