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Showing posts from August, 2016

The search for warriors

Watched most of the documentary, SAS: The Search For Warriors by SBS, on the Australian SAS selection course (DVD, 2010).  It's one of the most inspiring documentaries I've ever watched and it's hard to not come away happy to push the body.  Admittedly, I need to be careful at the moment but I will keep up the hill walking to strengthen my legs and my ankle in particular.  Anything to get my ankle strong and back into heels!

I needed a change of mental state last night from one of looking after other people. to being inspired.  I have so much respect for those who tried and did not meet the grade.  To put so much work into something and not achieve it is gut retching.  The SAS (Special Air Service Regiment) though, much like the US Marine Corp is about being the best in the field, and fitting into the group.  There's no point having a elite force if the standards are not exacting.

I can not help reflecting that some of the issues with western society stem from a lack …

Vitamins and selenium - less is more?

I've cut out selenium from my regime, as well as vitamin C tablets for the moment, to see if I notice any difference to my health and because I would have thought that I get enough from my diet.  I will continue to eat a high selenium diet though.

The below article by Chris Kresser suggests that getting sufficient selenium from diet is the best thing.  Having Coeliac though, I may need to supplement for short periods of time in the future.  So far, so good, though.  Certainly, most recent research indicates that it's best to get micro-nutrients and vitamins from food and variety than tablets.  Exceptions include Vitamin D and perhaps iron and B12 if indicated by blood tests.  Taking vitamins unnecessarily may actually be harmful.

For medical treatment talk to your physician.

https://chriskresser.com/important-update-on-selenium-supplementation/

http://blogs.plos.org/publichealth/2014/08/21/multivitamin-supplements-increase-mortality-risk/


Op shop donation

From the multiple pieces of clothes I bought the other day from the op shop (second hand goods) I have already put aside two that will go back to another op shop, or even the same one!  I see them as donations to the charity that the shop supports.  It's not really worth putting clothes in my closet that just do not suit me well.  I've my eye on another piece to shift.

One of the warm tops I bought is worth more new than the entire ensemble of pieces, so even if a few more pieces go, I am ahead!  I bought designer jeans for summer too, with the ability to easily roll up, for a few dollars.  Got to love an op shop bargain with a designer tag!

Best to buy, and keep, a few beautiful flattering pieces I wear regularly.

Do I laugh, or cry?

Today I read a headline on Yahoo's general news website suggesting that Donald Trump would cause a world-wide depression.  I still do not know whether to react to such drivel with laughter, or cry at the lack of thought and intelligent journalism that went into that particular headline.

The reality is that every recession and depression have been fuelled by greed, stupidity and easy access to credit.  In an environment with all three all it takes is a few job losses and then everything falls like a house of cards.  Perhaps house of cards, rather than safe as houses should be the catch cry of the masses.

Love, or loathe, Warren Buffett, one of my favourite quotes of all time remains:

"Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and Greedy When Others Are Fearful” I am fearful at the moment while so many are hyped up.

US housing inventory low

According to this article, on the blog doctorhousingbubble.com, the US housing market appears to be experiencing low inventory, and in some areas historically high prices.  I like the phrase he uses, it's one I use to describe similar moves in Hobart real estate, I understand it to be a peculiarly American term, "Keep on drinking the Kool-Aid".

http://www.doctorhousingbubble.com/housing-inventory-near-record-lows-bay-area-oakland-flips-real-estate/#more-8801

Protect yourself: real estate

http://www.apimagazine.com.au/2014/04/property-scams/

Real estate con

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/real-estate-rort-ruining-thousands-of-lives/story-e6frg6n6-1226630727399

Lack of sunshine = child abuse

According to reports in The Daily Mail, and the academically rigorous The Medical Journal of Australia, the debilitating, possibly life threatening, life destroying condition Rickets is on the rise.  Rickets is bone deformity and weakness and other complications due to severe chronic lack of vitamin D attributable to staying indoors and not getting enough sunshine.

The last time Rickets was common was the nineteenth century.  If numbers continue to rise then we can go back to the past and see infant mortality and morbidity rise dramatically.

This is shocking.  Sunshine is free.  Most places in Australia have plenty of parks for children to play in the sunshine.

https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2012/196/7/incidence-vitamin-d-deficiency-rickets-among-australian-children-australian

https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/vitamin-d-news/rate-of-rickets-in-the-united-kingdom-highest-in-50-years/

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/gout-and-rickets-on-the-rise-public-health-expert-warns-o…

A rest day

My legs are aching still from gardening and walking yesterday.  I was determined to be sensible and rest today.  Some how that morphed into going for two walks and reuniting a dog with it's owner.  I'm not quite sure how that happened.

I did manage to walk around two neighborhoods to see if they were the spot for my livable shed/ tiny house but found they were lacking in ambiance.  I do not mind a small home but I do need a wonderful community feel and sunshine.  One neighborhood in my mind had a nicer area than another but there were no houses for sale there, and the fire risks concern me.  Flood or fire risk, what is it with me?

All I want is a humble abode with sunshine, hopefully within walking distance of a small shop and quiet.  It seems that I am asking too much in the modern world to also be within budget and not on a flood plain or in a major fire area.  However, I'm not about to give up now.  Heck, I would buy a house without a kitchen and "make do".  W…

Treasurer's transcript for Bloomberg address

What Scott Morrison MP said at the Bloomberg address:
http://sjm.ministers.treasury.gov.au/transcript/112-2016/

DIY on less

I was looking for some DIY inspiration today and decided to share some links with you while I am at it.  The following frugal home decorating blogs which I found inspiring all tend to:

take their time making decorating decisions embrace paint, lots of it, to overhaul areas relatively cheaply enhanced their gardensdo what they can with the expertise and energy they have availablegenerally set out a budget before making decorating decisionsare content with imperfection I hope you find these links inspiring:

www.livelovediy.com

www.beautifulmatters.com

www.grandmashousediy.com

Smart use of $500 to completely transform a kitchen and bring it into the twenty-first century.  'twas an awful lot of labor they put into the reno, so with tradespeople the cost would be considerably more:

http://www.ohsolovelyblog.com/500-diy-kitchen-remodel/

www.frugalqueen.co.uk - Frugal Queen's been doing up a house in France for lots of elbow grease and sweat equity, and a little cash!

Thoroughly enjoy…

Third cup of coffee & pit-pat of rain

It's raining outside the window as I sip my third cup of coffee today.  I've just had lunch after going for a hill walk.  Potatoes are wonderful things to cook in the microwave for a cheap and healthy lunch.  My blood sugar was ridiculously low.  I added vegetables, a tiny bit of chicken from a roast I made last night and some dressing I made with a little curry.  Yum!

I must be feeling quite a bit better because before my walk I helped my mum clip, clean and haul leaves and branches from the garden.  Job done!  Now I'm all covered in scratches and expecting my thumb to be black tomorrow.  Silly little battle scars.

I'm definitely experiencing a little good muscle ache and we'll see how my body goes with that punishment.  So nice to go for a long walk like I managed today.  I love it, even if I did get drenched in the rain (my jeans need washing anyway).

Last night, while watching a little television I managed about fifteen minutes of weights and stretches and toda…

Treasurer calls the obvious & gives us hope

I've just read that according to reports out today, the Australian federal Treasurer Scott Morrison MP has admitted that we can look forward to a recession.  He fears that if we do not face a recession then the implications are worse.

What a relief, a Treasurer willing to let us go backwards temporarily and wipe out the debt bubble.  Hopefully things will get worse and then much better for the community as a whole.

Refreshing to have a Treasurer with courage, willing to displease a few, for the good of the many. Let's hope he moves onto abolishing negative gearing next.  As far as I can see real estate values are going down every where any way.  In Tasmania, Sorell and Kingston are fairly stable at around $300 000 per house, but sales volume is reducing.  Sales and prices seem to be going down nearly every where else.

Deceased estates are hitting the market, as are houses sold for nursing home deposits.  Then there are the landlords going broke needing to sell.  And land lord…

Joys of being a landlord?

https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/32411573/wa-government-kicks-out-more-public-housing-tenants/

Watch this space, John McGrath steps down

When the CEO of a major real estate firm, in fact the highly respected CEO and founder John McGrath, steps down from CEO responsibilities, I would be proceeding with caution:

http://www.theage.com.au/business/property/john-mcgrath-calls-property-market-challenging-20160824-gqzvd5.html

Here's hoping John McGrath finds other ways to use his expertise.  This must be a difficult and humbling day for him.

Rust begone & elderberries

For the cost of a can of car paint, some sand paper and free plastic sheeting lying around, I fixed up the rust on my car.  It's far from perfect but that's the great thing with driving a bit of a clunker, it hardly matters.  The main thing is that the rust is contained and the car looks better which is all I was going for.

Continuing to pay off me HECS debt, just paid off another $100 and put some more money into my car fund.  A little less than last fortnight but I might add more in and the end of the pay period if it's not all spent.

Drinking elderberry tea (elderberries must be ripe and steeped in boiling water, do not consume raw or unripe as they can be toxic) which I bought in bulk a while ago.  I'm drinking it in lieu of buying vitamin c as it's purported to be high in vitamin c and helps to take the edge off chronic fatigue.  That being said, I spent the morning in bed.  My sleeping pattern has gone hey wire again.  How much that's to do with CFS/ME, a…

Worth a read - bankruptcy in Australia increasingly middle class

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/UMelbLRS/2009/14.html

Medical

Had a quick look at my finances, at my spending versus income.  All in all, I am doing well.  The information from my bank showed that I have spent a little more than normal this month.  Some of that's been a few snacks and bulk drink buying to keep me away from cafes.

Some of my spending has been attributable to paying off my University degree.  That's had an impact on my bottom line.  When I take that out, as it's not really a necessary expense, more a commitment, I am saving more than I am spending.   Clearly I am spending that money though and I recognize that.

My other major expense has been medicine and doctor's fees.  I guess that's fairly normal bottom line impacts for someone who is chronically ill, medicine and University.  Then there's food and rent.  It's all pretty disciplined, I just need to watch the bits and pieces.  I gave myself a little slack this month because I have generally been on track for a while.

Flood, decaf, paint and economics

Today, I've been looking at other houses I like in a sea side locale, only to find they are on a flood plain.  I'm not happy that the real estate industry appears to deem it fine to not mention that rather important point when advertising properties.  I will be looking into seeing this change given the likelihood that properties will not be rebuilt on in future, making the land essentially worthless.
I'm drinking decaf coffee with a hot water bottle on my back.  When cleaning out my car, I seemed to have pulled a muscle in my back.  Hopefully it will heal with stretches and more exercise or cleaning my car will prove a rather expensive exercise.  
I managed to find some paint for my car.  Apparently, I am lucky that my car is by popular maker and a bit of a rust bucket.  Had I wanted paint matched to a newer model, say 2004 and onward, it's unlikely I could have the paint made up as car manufacturers are keeping the codes to themselves which would maximize their profit…

Laughing at it

The last few days, I've found myself laughing about some pretty horrible periods of my life.  They are no less terrible by looking at it all, and laughing at the absurdity of the situation but I know that I am not defined by them when I can find something to laugh about.  It's easier to laugh at this side, and laughing at dark periods of my life means that I am healing.

It's such a relief for those experiences to be firmly in my past.  In between the laughing at my past horrible-ness, I've grieved a little more for people who I have lost in this life. too young.  Grief when you are in the midst of the early stages feels so dark, deep and impossible but if you are willing to grieve and seek help to get through it (if you need it, up two weeks of intense grief is normal, any longer and it's probably time to seek help) you hold the pain lighter and find yourself focused more on the good that came from the time with that person/s.

Grief teaches me that life is short.  …

If everyone moves into a caravan

If this blog I am reading is anything to go by, selling a house, or suspending rent and buying a caravan to live in, is rather popular in some parts.  If enough people refused to spend a significant amount on housing I can see there may be price drops.

http://ourlifeinacaravan.blogspot.com.au/2011/03/living-in-caravan-full-time-top-10.html

I cleaned & made thick, yummy, coconut yogurt

Instead of cooking the dinner which worked out well without my involvement I pulled out kitchen things from drawers and cleaned drawers.  I also vacuumed a good portion of the house, gave my bathroom a two minute clean, looked at houses I will not be buying any time soon, put out two loads of washing and drank lashings of tea.

My coconut yogurt worked out a treat though.  I mixed together a couple of teaspoons of gelatin, one tablespoon of raw sugar, three tablespoons of sweet potato starch (found at the local Asian grocer - grocer under new management and doing a great job) added a can of coconut milk and the same amount of water,  Whisked it together over a high heat, slowly adding the liquid ingredients to the dry.  Once combined and thickened, let cool to body temperature then place in a sterile container, add yogurt culture and probiotic culture if you like, place lid on.  Leave yogurt in yogurt maker over night and in the morning, place in fridge for a few hours for the thickest…

Lessons from Ireland

Shhh...property crash in Ireland.  Pfft....can't happen here, this is Australia.  Of course there was that one in the USA, pfft...increasing property prices are in the constitution, aren't they?  Asian Economic Crisis with massive property value losses within hours, that was propaganda, wasn't it?
Good things happen to those that take out second mortgages, don't they?  Better things to those that take out third and fourth?  Thou shalt buy your children an overpriced 50s house?

Greed is good?  Or was it Greed is God?

Hmmm....

You decide:

http://www.globalpropertyguide.com/Europe/Ireland/Price-History

http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2013/04/ireland-the-greatest-property-bust-of-all/

http://www.businessinsider.com.au/boom-towns-australian-property-and-the-lessons-from-the-irish-experience-2015-9

http://www.irisheconomy.ie/index.php/2013/01/09/fitch-report-property-markets-remain-soft-irish-borrowers-on-strike/


Banished from kitchen

I just realized that I have been reading other blogs with one eye open, and one eye shut.  This may have something to do with me being up past 7.30 pm.  Lately, I've been going to bed early and asleep by 8.30 pm.  Some days I've been up before the birds start their morning chatter.  I quite like watching the sun rise in the morning.

The fast release T3 seems to be making a positive difference and is helping me have a little more energy during the day and sleep well at night.  It does seem to be making some of my chronic fatigue symptoms worse but day time fatigue has lessened a little.  I'm very grateful that my doctor was happy to prescribe it for my thyroid disease.  With walking and three good meals a day, the odd free weight session thrown in, I am slowly losing weight and strengthening my muscles.

Dinner tonight was a bit of an unmitigated disaster.    The Head Gardener is considering banning me from all kitchen activities except cleaning.  Mind you, last nights dinn…

Always do the work

It is a pain to do my own due diligence and check facts and legislation.  It's easier in the short term to spend $1000 to get financial advice and legal advice, and complain that "I didn't know" when lack of due diligence and asking questions ends in disaster, and potential financial ruin.

http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/due-diligence.htmlnition of due diligence:

There are times to spend money on legal advice.  I am a fan of lawyers because one, a very expensive and experienced one, saved me a lot of pain and helped me get a little money back.  He also helped me get my possessions back.  Sometimes I wonder whether I should have left them and done an ultimate de-clutter.  I must have really valued some of the things at the time.

Even if you hire a lawyer and get financial advice, I always do what I can before I spend money on them.  Why pay someone to do something I can do myself with a little effort and time?  It does sometimes add to my stress levels, …

No Moo for me :(

The way I read this meta-analysis in pubmed is that people like me, with my genes, which places me at risk of Coeliac disease should avoid dairy or face increased risk of type 1 diabetes (autoimmune) which I need like a hole in my foot (on top of everything else):

Written in 1999
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10426365

And this,
which states that risks for type 1 diabetes in the rest of the population are complicated and include multiple factors:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11115792

If I was writing about type 1 diabetes' relationship with dairy products in social media speak: "it's complicated".

Everything I have read suggest that genes have a massive impact on risk, however there may be other factors turning on the gene expression.  The general health of the immune system and health of the gut may impact risk of type 1 diabetes which I find incredibly interesting.

Please note:
It is critical that parents with children follow M.Ds (Medical Doctor) and qu…

A luxury and Uni payment

Any which way I look at it, pod coffees are a bit of luxury compared to instant, or drip coffee.  I only bought mine so I could make my own coffee and not hurt myself with a dodgy ankle.  It's still cheaper than going to a cafe and paying $4-5 for coffee, and a little cheaper than going to the servo and buying coffee.  Plus, I like being able to stay in pjs and drink coffee in bed!

My point is, I bought some more pods today, and on reflection decided to make another smaller contribution to my University debt and also added some money to my shed/house fund which I want to pay with cash.  I do not want a mortgage.  In fact, the longer I leave it, the more determined I am to pay off my University debt and buy a house without debt.

That's just to encourage you to stick with your goals.  $6 jeans help keep me funneling money where I want to.  I am well aware that I need money for an emergency too.  Once I buy a house/ shed I will plough money into a home improvement and emergency …

Jean fit

I was struggling to fit into my jeans and breathe at the same time.  My size 12 pair of jeans I bought a few weeks ago no longer fit due to thyroid weight gain.  My size 10 pair were tight and fast falling to pieces.

When I was studying the psychology of spending at college the accepted wisdom was that 99 per cent of decisions are made with emotion.  If you buy, then it's with feeling, not facts.  While some of my decisions are most certainly of the impulse type, my two pairs of comfy, stretchy "skinny fit" jeans were bought with the criteria:

must fit (ridiculously hard - ironically, after trying on 15 pairs, the "skinny fit" fit)under $10 a pair, unless they make me look stunning and then under $15must look reasonablemust be comfortable I managed to buy two pairs on both accounts.  I only bought the jeans too, which took quite a bit of discipline!  I am very happy with my stretchy comfy jeans and feel like my other size 12 jeans are mocking me for not fitting…

Grey skies

I find spending time in building with grey walls incredibly depressing.  Grey and stark white just make me want to leave.  So many houses are now being decorated with these colors for sale and I would pay less for any house decorated extensively in these tones.

Now, I am going to be contrary for a second.  While nine times out of ten the shades of grey could be described as "stark grey-white", "mausoleum grey" and "tomb charcoal" some clever interior types do manage to use grey and make a room sing.

Most of the population think they can paint grey and black on the walls, add a few subway tiles and they are post modern and adding value to their home.  Grey and subway tiles will instantly date a house because they are so popular.

Grey used sparingly, with the perfect tone, and splashes of colors like yellow, pink and deep aqua  can work.  It's the rare person that can pull off grey. Generally grey and white show every speck of dirt and can make a house…

The Obesity Code - book review

Just read The Obesity Code, by Jason Fung M.D, in ebook format from my local library online.  I am currently overweight, for my build quite significantly, and for the first time in my life find myself considering buying a girdle for my waist.  Though, I am slowly trying to find my waist.  In my case, the weight gain is largely due to my thyroid hormone being out and my movement away from an autoimmune diet (no dairy and no gluten) likely did not help with managing my condition.

You can imagine that I expected exercise to be a bigger part of the solution to obesity and weight gain but research seems to indicate that while it's good at reducing insulin resistance in muscles, and in my experience good for mental health, it's impact on weight gain/ loss is negligible.  Given it's insulin resistance reduction properties it seems to me it should be a part of a healthy lifestyle as long as it's not too extreme (puts stress on the body).

From reading the book, according to the…

Mended, made and walked

Image
Today, after a major sleep in, I mended my jeans with lurid thread because I hear poverty chic is very in with the young peoples.  And, I just don't care if anyone notices.  I've decided to embrace the imperfections.  If the economy goes in the trajectory I think is most likely, I am sure this will become a trend, and by then I will have bought new jeans.  I might even fit into my new to me jeans soon, I fitted into them brilliantly a few months ago when I bought them. 
Then, I discovered how to make coconut milk for tea and coffee.  I just got a can of quality coconut milk and placed it in the milk carton using a funnel, squeezed in the juice of a small lemon and filled it up with filtered water.  Shake and add to tea.  Tastes quite nice.  I'm not sure the lemon is needed but I wanted it to have a preserving agent.  If you use name brand coconut milk it's a relative bargain.
More hill walking this afternoon.  I must be honest and admit that it was after spending the …

Fire breathing up hill and repaired smartphone screen

I've had a funny day today.  I walked up and down hills even though I did not feel really well enough to do it.  I soldiered on and someone looked up when he heard me breathing like a little engine that could!

Anyway, I made it up and down and around.  I get grumpy if I do not get out for a walk most days.  I know I do, so I try and walk before I get grouchy.  Or, I do some weights in front of the television like I did the other night.  No sitting on my gluteus maximus if I feel well enough to bust some moves with the weights.

After some feminine grunting with the weights, I might sit down and sometimes try and fix things that have been annoying me for a while, like my need for a face mask (only six months overdue) and my smashed smart phone which I fixed with nail polish of all things.  A leather phone cover seems to be rather good at taking the odd bump and it was not nearly as expensive as the military issue ones I was considering.  Much more feminine look this way.

If you w…

Ouch - housing

Australia’s double trouble: The housing bubble and mining boom https://independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/australias-double-trouble-the-housing-bubble-and-mining-boom,6658?_e_pi_=7%2CPAGE_ID10%2C6134536521 -- shared by Browser