Be prepared!

 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?

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxx

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16 thoughts on “Be prepared!

  1. Hoping there is enough money in our small pot for a woodburner to be fitted this year.
    We are oil/electric. Oil despite all our economies is £300 every two months in the winter. We hope to have reduced our electric consumption and thereby the monthly dd.
    As far as everything else we get by often helped by your blog.

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  2. Hoping there is enough money in our small pot for a woodburner to be fitted this year.
    We are oil/electric. Oil despite all our economies is £300 every two months in the winter. We hope to have reduced our electric consumption and thereby the monthly dd.
    As far as everything else we get by often helped by your blog.

    Like

  3. love the quilt! I'm making a quilt top from curtains/duvet cover set from 1991! (blogged about it a while ago)and lots of scraps of fabrics left from making other things. I'm using a thin blanket for the middle and the curtains for the backing, started it last August, so should get it finished for next winter!
    Josie x

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  4. Having studied the picture of your quilt on your sewing machine I'd just like to share one of the best tips I've been given when quilting a large quilt on a domestic machine. Position your ironing board at right angles to your sewing table to your left hand side as you're sitting at the machine set up at the same height as the sewing table – this will help to hold the bulk of your quilt and prevent it dragging onto the floor – hope this helps

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  5. I'm still ploughing away at my 2012 granny blanket. Only another 6 small grannies to go and then it's the mammoth task of doing the borders. Should be finished before winter!
    Love from Mum
    xx

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  6. Wow that is impressive debt reduction. I love the quilt.
    I'm gonna read through your blog a bit later for more ideas where I could save money, my income has just reduced by £250 a month so I desperately need to reduce spending somewhere along the way.

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  7. We are just awaiting extra loft insulation and full cavity wall insulation installing in readiness for the next winter.
    Our house is hard to get warm so we need to try and keep it that way once we heat it up 🙂

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  8. I have a bag of random balls of wool next to the sofa, and in the evening knit a square or two whilst watching TV. That's my winter blanket project.
    I have started on my Christmas gift making for 2012.
    We have to sort out the loft by August 1st as it is having another layer of insulation then.

    I loved annes tip regarding the ironing board and quilting.

    Tell me, do you sing the Lumberjack song to yourself when you are log splitting?? xx

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  9. I have a bag of random balls of wool next to the sofa, and in the evening knit a square or two whilst watching TV. That's my winter blanket project.
    I have started on my Christmas gift making for 2012.
    We have to sort out the loft by August 1st as it is having another layer of insulation then.

    I loved annes tip regarding the ironing board and quilting.

    Tell me, do you sing the Lumberjack song to yourself when you are log splitting?? xx

    Like

  10. I've been trawling the web for quilting tutorials and ideas and have now almost finished my first ever quilt! It's a baby's quilt, and I'm glad I started that before the king sized one I plan on making for my bed for next winter as they are quite tricky, especially on my small domestic machine. I am going to double line curtains and make draft excluders aswell. Photos will be on my blog.
    Well done on all those logs, at least you won't have to worry about keeping warm next winter.
    Have you noticed that whenever you are making something, the cat always has to sleep on it? 🙂

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  11. We rent an apartment on the lower floor of a large and drafty (but beautiful) old house.

    Our winter preparations include putting plastic sheeting over the windows. We also hang ceiling-to-floor curtains across our very long living room, to divide it in two and help contain heat. We spend most of the winter in the warmest half of the room, which we heat with a small space heater. We hang another curtain in the doorless doorway between the living room and the kitchen to keep in the heat. We wear lots of layers, and sleep in a very cold bedroom under what feels like 50 lbs of covers. 🙂

    Congratulations on your stupendous feat of debt reduction!

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  12. Regarding growing a few vegetables at home, get some pots on wheels. Then you can move them to sunny spots as the days change. You may have to be a bit inventive at first with getting movable pots. Small lemon trees can be done the same way with great success. Vegs need lots of sun and moving air.

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  13. That quilt is amazing.

    We've got our allotment which should reduce our food costs substantially. We are very frugal with the heating and lighting, more a case of having to be how expensive it is. I shop mainly only in charity shops and only if I need it. Plus I like many other have already started on this years Xmas and birthday gifts.

    X x

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  14. Hello, I dont know if anyone has asked before, but will you be selling any of your lovely quilts? Some of them are gorgeous and would make lovely wall hangings.

    I adore the one you are making at the moment.
    Are you on etsy and I just havent seen your button for it?

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  15. arrrgghh blogger ate my comment.

    So I will type it again!!!

    Will you be selling any of your quilts? They are lovely. and would make lovely wall hangings as well.

    I cant see an etsy button. Do you have one

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