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Trying to keep warm!

It’s been bloody freezing here this week!  We’ve had snow over the last 2 days, but not here in town so no pics unfortunately. Yesterday it got down to -6 C (21F) and right now it is -4 C (24F) here and it’s almost 7.30am. I guess what prompted me to write about this is that I’m sitting here wearing:

  • 1 pr thin socks
  • 1 pr thick workmans socks
  • thick winter leggings
  • a singlet
  • a sleeveless T- shirt
  • a long sleeved T-shirt
  • a hoodie
  • a winter dressing gown
  • fingerless gloves

I also have a hot pack on my lap and two bed quilts on my lap.  So I’m sitting here like this and my heater conks out… while I’m reading a forum post on people who’ve decided to save money by not turning there heater on this winter! :)  Obviously they don’t live here…

We use the gas heater in winter because it seems to warm the (large) family room quicker and better than the reverse cycle air conditioner. But sometimes it just can’t keep up, so after being on for an hour this morning the gas heater just gave up the ghost. I’ve turned it off and it usually will work again after a few hours of rest. I’ve put the other heater on but it will struggle to keep the temperature up. At the moment it’s 14C (57 F) inside after the hour of using the heater.

In Australia gas and electricity prices have become VERY expensive – to the point that many people, particularly those on low incomes, can’t afford to heat their houses properly. We keep the  house warm but not overheated as DD is a bad asthmatic and breathing cold air can trigger an asthma attack. She has an oil heater in her room at night in winter. So far we’ve kept our consumption down and we use a bit more than an one person household, but not as much as a two person household. I think all our solar lighting has helped a lot.

How do you heat your house in winter?  What are expenses like where you live? What do you do to keep warm?  …. I’m off to make a hot cuppa…

Counting down to our next trip

It’s only two months until we head off on our next cruise and I’m really looking forward to it  We will be away for a month, mainly cruising around Japan, but also visiting South Korea and a day in Russia. I booked this holiday in January and I have to say half the fun has been planning and looking forward to it. Its great when things are stressful at work and I remind myself I have this great holiday coming up.

I spent the weekend finalising our flights and transfers and double- checking our paperwork, I paid extra to have seats in the exit aisle on our flights to and from Tokyo. I need room to stretch out my legs as I have a back problem and the last thing I need is a flare up of that at the start of a holiday. The aisle seat upgrade was $90 each way. We are going to fly to Sydney and I’ve booked a hire care to drive back. Cheaper than leaving our car at the airport

I’ve also started planning what I need to take. With five formal nights to dress for it’s been fun finding evening dresses and bargain prices. It is amazing what you can get on ebay – I have bought two, new, unworn floor length dresses, one fully lined with satin and with beautifully beaded shoulders, that I got for  $30 each, both would be worth several hundred dollars if bought in the shops.  My other evening dresses are cocktail length, again bought on ebay and none over $20. So buying those has been a lot of fun and it feels good knowing I got a bargain.

 

 

Endings & beginnings….

Hello and my apologies for being offline for so long. It’s been a very busy time over recent months as my fathers health continually deteriorated. Dad passed away very peacefully two weeks ago. I was fortunate to be able to be with him for those last few days. The long goodbye of Alzheimer’s Disease is finally over.

I was privileged to be able to write his eulogy and organise the service for him, including his favourite hymns and some of his own written reflections on his life in my tribute. Dad was buried in the area he grew up in and I was amazed when I stood up to walk out of the chapel to see it was full, about 100 people attended. That meant a lot to me and it was so lovely to talk to his friends from his childhood and youth, many who knew me as a child. I will miss him but I have so many good memories.

I’ve been back at work about a week and am very tired. I’m so glad that I had organised as much as I could in preparation for Dads passing. Having all the paperwork, finances and legalities sorted has certainly made the process easier. Now I would just like some time to myself to process it all, but thats not going to be possible any time soon.

At some point  in the last 2 months my blog got damaged / hacked – I’m not sure exactly what happened, but I have not had time to really try and fix it as I’ve been traveling and busy with Dad. It’s only the last few days I’ve had time to really look into it – and the old blog is all gone. Seven years of blog posts. Did I want to start blogging again? I decided that if I did I will be writing about not just debt reduction. My life is in a very different place now than it was seven years ago. Yes I’m still paying down debt but it’s balanced with savings and investment properties, and we’re gradually downsizing our home. Travel is part of our plans now, due to some health issues I’ve had. I’m not willing to put it off any longer. So I decided I would restart the blog again from scratch.

It seems fitting actually – An ending of the old blog, started when I was up in the middle of the night caring for Dad, feeling desperate about our finances. And now a new beginning, a blog about more than just paying off the mortgage. It’s good to be back.