Hello Dear Reader,
When we went deeply frugal at the beginning of 2009, we did so to pay off our debts……………we did so by last year………..all £45K of unsecured debt. We paid of home improvement loans, car loan, credit cards and over drafts. We now have no debts, savings and we over pay our mortgage. For the best part of two and a half years we had barely any heating. We had no central heating through two winters of snow and oh boy, we were cold but we just had to clear those debts. One of the greatest joys for me now is having a wood stove and being able to afford to pay for wood up front and not only keep warm, but dry our laundry in front of the fire. I can dry a week’s laundry on three racks over night. It really is such a luxury.
We had two huge trees at the bottom of our garden, one of which was dangerous and over hanging the road below and the council told us to get it lopped or taken down. Taken down was as cheap. It also brought us a view of the countryside, which still mesmerises me. The second tree, a huge beech tree blocked the light from the house and also obscured the view. We also had that tree taken down. We’re still chopping them up.
This coming winter, we’ll be burning our beech tree and I’ve spent some of this weekend chopping it up. I know it’s a bit girly but I use a hydraulic splitter! It’s on loan and I’ll need to get it back soon. I love the satisfying ping and crack of the wood as it just yields to the pressure. Now all I have to do is barrow it around the side of the house and get started on next winter’s log pile. As we burn our own wood, we’ve completely offset the cost of having the trees taken down. It’s also good exercise moving it around and stacking it up.
I’ve also been busy tidying up my garden. There’s a lot to do. I’ve tried in vain to grow vegetables successfully. The only flat piece of land is shaded by the house as the sun moves across it and previously everything was shaded by the trees so it was no wonder that very little grew and next to nothing ripened. I’ve now conceded defeat and have planted up a shady border and will mulch it as soon as I’ve got another spare minute.
I’m still quilting the monster! It’s heavy work and I have to hold it steady so it doesn’t twist or drag. I work on a metre square section at a time. I’m trying to complete all my diagonal quilting to start with. The centre is always the hardest and it will all be easier when this is done. Tigger thinks this is just being made for him!
So, there’s my day of being prepared. It seems odd to prepare for winter when this winter has only just left us. Plenty of wood and warm quilts will mean another winter of not using the gas and less electric, especially when prices continue to rise! What’s every one else up to in preparation for the coming seasons?
Love Froogs xxx