Category: Photo

2015 – Goals! Oh nooo!

Oh boy!

It’s ridiculous how long I’ve been working on this post… I started it weeks and weeks ago.. and then I completely forgot all about it lurking around in the drafts folder… until I suddenly went.. oh crap.. didn’t I..??? Yeah you guessed it, I suddenly remembered that I had not posted it after all. How the heck could I forget?

And here we are, almost done with February. And I still haven’t given you the update on how I did with my 2015 goals! 😳

How can I make it up to you? Well I guess I could just go ahead and give you that update!

Before I do, I have a teensy-weensy disclaimer!

2015 turned out quite differently than I had anticipated. As some of you know, I had to throw in the towel at work, June 2015 for health reasons. Following that particular decision, a few things happened during the fall, things that was completely outside of my control, which unfortunately, took a toll on my health.

I know, I know..  it’s a poor excuse…  But excuse or not, it is an explanation for why I completely flunked on some of my goals, as you will see below.

I did have quite few goals, and even though I flunked a lot,  I did accomplish one or two…

So here it is, my (ahem) “quick” update, starting with one of the ones I actually passed 🙂

FINANCIAL GOALS
My overall goal when it comes to my house mortgage, is to pay it down as quick as possible. Every January I pay a lump sum towards the mortgage (a quick explanation of my mortgage). My goal for 2015 was to to save up NOK 60 000,- for my lump sum in January 2016. And I did it. Actually I was a ahead of schedule and had saved my yearly down payment by October. With a little extra savings in November.

I did debate paying down more than my 60 000 this January, but I decided I’d rather invest that extra money in mutual funds, as the interest rate on my mortgage is really low.

With this last payment, I’m down to 1/4th left on my mortgage, only 9 years in 🙂 Do I get a woot, woot?

DECLUTTER
I had a bunch of declutter goals. Just as in 2014 I wanted to shed an item a day. In addition to that, I had a few other “projects” like reading myself out of my bookshelfwatching myself out of my movie collection, and (the big mother of projects) photos!

My declutter goals for 2015:

  • 😀 365 items 561 items out the door – the big purges are mentioned here, here and here
  • :-/ 100 Movies – 68 movies
  • 😦 Cut physical DVD series collection by 30% – I’ve only gotten rid of one series which probably amounts to all of 1%
  • :-/ 34 books – 27 (I ran into too many I wanted to keep)
  • 😦 Photo collection – I never had a proper goal on this as I have thousands of photos, and the idea was to – keep key photos as physical photos, scan the other ones I’d like to have access to, and get rid of the rest. – All I can say…. it IS on the list for 2016 (and 2017… and 2018… and…)


ONLY BUYING NECESSITIES

2014 was a year I focused a lot on only buying necessities ( I want, I want – I want it now!!!), and it served me so well that I continued in 2015. I had some non necessities allowances though;

  • 😀 Books – buy only 10 books/magazines – I bought 6 books (4 of them e-books), no magazines
  • 😀 Flowers and plants – same level of 2014 – I cut about 60% on 2014 results
  • 😦 Eating out – reduce 25% on 2014 results we have already established that this item is something we struggle with. So it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that we flunked this one completely. Here are the statistic:
    • we ate out 39% more times than 2014
    • average cost per meal was reduced 9,5% – resulting in
    • total cost for 2015 was increased with “only” 25,9% 

Even though the results are pretty bismol (with the exception of average cost per meal) there is one upside in it all.

You see, both B (my eating out partner in crime) and me stopped working early/mid 2015. B took out an early retirement + was hit by company downsizing, leaving the workforce early spring. And I, well I started the year working only 20% until I left completely in June, when I went out on 100% sick leave.

We have found out in the past, during holidays and such, that we eat out more when we are not working. In lieu of the fact that most of the year have been non working days, for us both, I’m actually surprised that we did not increase our cost by more than 25,9%. So yeah, we gotta look at the bright side of this 😉

  • ❓ I can buy up to 10 non essentials throughout the yearHmm lets see, I bought:

    • 2 lamps at an antique fair – the lamps are going over my dining table (been looking the last 5 years – finally found some I think might be cool.. as soon as I change the wiring 😉  )
    • 1 pair of shoes (needed a pair that can work as my one pair only for minimalist travel)
    • a few Lush products to test out deodorants and shampoos in solid form (travel)
    • a couple of eagle creek super light travel pouches (travel)
    • 6 pieces of clothing – 4 replacing worn out items, 1 item filling a hole in my wardrobe, and 1 just because I wanted it…
    • 1 frame for a poster (picture finally on the wall after years and years in a roll)
    • a set of omaggio vases

Depending on how you want to count these non essentials, it’s either a flunk or pass scenario. If you look at it from a “if every single item counts separately” then, yes I bought more that 10 items. But if “each purchase count as one” (eg lush, lamps, vases..) then I guess I kinda passed? You know what? I’m leaving it to you to decide 😉


ACTIVITY AND EXERCISE

The goal for 2015 was to build up to, by the end of the year: 7 days of activity a week, with 3 of these as real workouts.

Yeah, that didn’t happen (re my disclaimer) – I did pretty good during summer with an average of 6 times a week, but I took a crashing nosedive end of August, resulting in this goal going straight out the window for the rest of the year. So yeah.. a big, big fail 😦

OTHER ACTIVITIES/PROJECTS
As always, I enjoyed my garden as much as possible. In addition I had a few other projects.. mostly helping out family and friends with little things in the house.

I did however have a bit of a larger task, helping a friend who got a new house in 2015.  Picture this, a house built in 2000 with interiour like the 1970s! Yeah, non painted pine, red, orange and yucky cream/brown/puke coloured wall… and thats for starters. For her it became quite a renovation project.. so B and me tried to help out as much as my health would allow. You know things like; painting, drawing up the new kitchen, delivering doors to be spray painted, changing door handles, cutting moldings to fit new wardrobes, more painting, installing the wifi, hanging curtain rods, “create” (rather adjust) a couple of ikea kitchen units to fit the space… you know.. all the little things that comes up during move in and renovation 😉 It turned out to be a fun and very social summer as she had lot and lots of friends helping.. oh yeah.. and there was lots and lots of great food, do I need to say more 😉

All in all, it was a great summer season!

This concludes my “How did I do on my 2015 goals”!

About time, you might say! All I can say is.. Yeah, I know 😳

Plans for 2015?

We are halfway into January, and you’re wondering, do I have any plans for 2015?

Yes, off course 🙂

I have plans within the areas of decluttering, finance, exercise and life in general! Why don’t you let me tell you all about it 😉

Declutter
In 2014, the focus was mostly on decluttering, and I’m afraid I still have ways to go 😦 Seems like decluttering and getting less stuff, inspires me to want less and less. So I will continue this in 2015. Last years goal was to declutter one item a day (365 items) and I far succeeded that, so I thought maybe I should try that one, one more time.. I think it will be harder this year to find the 365 items, but I’m sure gonna try 😉

I don’t know if you remember! Just like I’m reading myself out of my bookshelf, I’ve decided to watch myself out of my movie collection, and I also have this big, actually huge, photo project which I mentioned for you guys in November, that I will be spending time on this year.

My declutter goals for 2015;

  • 365 items
  • 100 Movies – that’s half of my collection
  • Cut my physical DVD series collection by 30% (yeah, that’s a lot, I have a lot, a lot of series)
  • 34 books –  I did 82 or something like that, out-the-door last year, but now I’m getting into more of the books I love…
  • Photo collection – oh lord…  I can’t even tell you what my goal is for this year! Half maybe?
    My overall goal is to keep key photos as physical photos, scan the other ones I’d like to have access to, and get rid of the rest. Now having several thousand photos, this is a task that will take time, and most likely spill over into 2016…

Only buying necessities
My focus last year on only buying necessities ( I want, I want – I want it now!!!) served me very well, as I had to spend quite a bit on medical treatments instead. It served me so well, I think I’d like to continue the focus this year. But with a small change compared to last years – I will add an allowance;

  • Books – I can still buy up to 10 books/magazines – preferable as e-books
  • Eating out – We did pretty good last year – we will try to squeeze even more this year, by reducing another 25% on last years results.
  • Flowers and plants – stay at the same level of last years result
  • New allowance: I can buy up to 10 non essentials throughout the year 🙂

Other financial goals
Last year I managed to pay off my car (a few months early) and I’m pretty happy with that 🙂 My ultimate goal on the other hand, is to have my house mortgage paid off, in 16 years or less, compared to the 25 it was originally. I’m 7 years in and have almost halved the mortgage so far, which is phenomenal! But it’s getting harder now that I’m on a severely reduced pay due to not working so much. Every January I pay a lump sum towards the mortgage, so my goal for 2015 is to save up 60 000 NOK for my lump sum in January 2016. If I manage that on my reduced pay, I’m doing very well.

Activity and exercise
Due to illness I have not been the most active person the last few years, every time I think I’m ready to start exercising, I’ve managed to screw that up somehow, and I’ve gotten worse again. Now on the other hand, I’m feeling better than ever and I think it’s time to give it another shot. But this time around I’m going to be careful about it and take my time!!!

The goal for this year is to build up to, by the end of the year: 7 days of activity a week, with 3 of these as real workouts.

  • By activity I mean something that gets me up and going and preferable out of the house, like a walk in the neighbour hood, work in the yard, run around playing with kids… just about anything that gets me out of that couch, gives me some fresh air, and brings me into a moving state 😉
  • With real workout I mean an activity like for example going to the gym, yoga, biking, running, Rollerblade … you get the drift.

Other activities/projects this year
I have a few other things on my agenda 🙂 Like; travel, projects in my yard, other projects, throw a garden party, ++
But these, I think I’ll tell you more about, as we move into the year 😉

So that’s it for my 2015 goals… enough don’t you think?

 

A little bit of this, a little bit of that

It seem like I can’t seem to concentrate on one thing these days, If you saw my living room and guest room you would have a laugh. There are stuff all over.

I told you before I started on my kitchen, that it seems like I’m working on a “zillion” projects, and that’s exactly how my house looks 😦

I’ll clue you inn on a couple of them.

Dads boxes:
After dad passed away last year, there was a few things that ended up in my house. Some things I held for my brother, which he have received during this year. Remember I told you about them earlier in “My Grandfathers cabinet” and “Hand over“?

There was also a couple of boxes, with letters, pictures, films, audio tape, and other stuff dad had held on to, for sentimental value. It’s a mix of stuff from his life and stuff from his mothers life (she passed away quite a few years ago).

I did look through it last year, but I realized that because of some of the formats he had, like old 8 mm films and old Tandberg audio tapes, I would have to find someone that could help me figure out what on earth was on that stuff, and I packed it all away for later.

Well, I decided that later is now. It’s time to figure out what to do with it all. And I’m slowly going through his boxes.

A couple of friends of mine have (or been able to get their hands on) some old equipment, and I have found out what’s on the 8 mm films and dias (negatives in frames). I have to admit, its kinda weird, and fun to come across people you know, and see them 50 years younger 🙂 The films I have already delivered to a company that will make them digital, the dias I’ll probably deliver to the same place next week or so. I’ve found a photo place that are not to expensive, and I’ll probably have them scan some of my stuff, rather than me go out an buy a very expensive photo/negative scanner.

I’ve also found out some of what’s on the audio tapes, but here I’m running into a bit more trouble. There are hours of tape, and the places I know that can digitize this, is hugely expensive, so I’m kinda hoping I can find someone with an old Tandberg player that I can borrow, so that I can digitize it myself… we will see… I’ll leave that for later.

Some of the stuff in the boxes are from my dad’s mum and even some from his dad’s, mostly letters and some pictures. And some are letters to and from my dad. The letters are a little strange to go through, because most of them are from family members that are sadly no longer with us. So reading them is like being hit from all sides. And it’s hard to decide which ones to keep and which ones to let go.

The same with the pictures, there are pictures of people there, that I know nothing about, and there are pictures of people, that are family members. I know I can’t keep it all, so I’ll have to pace myself going through them.

This is one of the things I’m working on right now, my dad’s boxes. And I know, it will be an ongoing project to decide what to keep, and get most of it digitized.

My photo collection:
The other thing I’m working on that are creating havoc in my house, is my own photo collection. Starting on my dad’s stuff, I realised it was time to tackle all of my photos as well. It’s been a plan of mine for a long time, to do something about my photos. I don’t know if you remember, I mentioned my plans for my photo collection in the post “Who the hell am I keeping it for?

My photo collection consist of, tons and tons of albums, loads of negatives, loose photos (not yet put into albums) and boxes of old inherited photos of people I barely know (or don’t know as it is).  Somewhere along the way, I also decided I wanted them digitized.

In the article mentioned above, I realised that I, in reality, am only keeping the photos for me, and that I therefore do not have to keep everything…  and the conclusion was to keep key pictures as real photos, scan a few more and then get rid of the rest. And that is the task I’ve just begun.

And here is where the mess comes in. I’ve pulled all my albums and photo boxes out on the floor, And so far that amounts to 9 huge albums and 4 boxes, in my living room and 6 albums and several boxes in my guest room and a bunch of unused albums. Throw that together with my dad’s boxes and you understand my problem, yes? 😉

How am I doing with this task? Well so far I’ve only created the mess, but stay with me over the next few days (weeks), and I’m sure I’ll have a progress report or ten for you.

So there you have it, the stuff I’m working on right now. I have a funny feeling, this is something that will take quite some time, before I am where I want to be with this, but I have to start somewhere, right?

 

 

A second chance

I love taking photographs, and over the years I have taken thousands and thousands of pictures.

I have a Canon 50D, a proper DSLR, but even so, it’s nice to have a small camera that can easily go into your bag.

Up until last year, I used a small Canon Ixus camera. It has gone with me everywhere, since 2002.  But last year I swapped it out, for a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ30, that gives me a bigger zoom range, than my old Ixus ever did.

I decided to get this, even as much as I loved my Ixus, so that I could have a decent zoom range without having to always drag my heavy DSLR with me.

As a backup, my faithful Ixus was put away in a drawer.

Yesterday though, my Ixus’s life changed slightly, when a friend from US, decided to take it with him, to the other side of the ocean, to keep as his second camera 😉

Farewell old friend – I wish you happiness, and I hope the two of you, share as many pleasurable moments as you and I did.

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