Frugal tips to keep cool

It is the end of January and I have just looked at my out door thermometer which is on the eastern-south side of my home, under cover of my porch and has green deciduous plants covering it. The temperature was reading 38dC in the shade 100dF. It is 1.30pm eastern standard daylight saving time, for us it is horrendously hot here in Tasmania.

I watered my Rhubarb this morning and had removed big leaves and steams off three days ago, fingers crossed it picks up.


My frugal way to keep cool in my home with only a fan no air conditioning is to close all the windows, to draw all curtains before the sun hits any of them. Even though my curtains are cover my windows and are insulated rubber backed ones, the sunshine is still hot in my home.

So I was in my car one day and realised that the windscreen cover I put on my windscreen internally was excellent at reducing the heat inside my car.

I purchased a whole heap of windscreen foiled type sun shades. With some gaffa tape I stick the sunshades on my windows behind the curtains.

It works a treat for me and the dogs we are all cool. If the evening is cooler than the inside house temperature, which it usually is here I will open the house up once the sea breeze comes in and the temperature has become pleasant enough to open doors and windows to get the cooler air into the house.

One of my neighbours asked me if I was cooking up meth. I laughed and said no, it is my way to keep my home cool on hot days.

I bought the windscreen sun shades from BIG W three years ago, and they were only cheap about $5 each at the end or close to the end of summer. There were bigger ones and better quality but they were much more expensive, and these do the job I need well.

I am very very happy with this method of helping to keep my home cool.

When I worked nights and slept during the day. In summer I would freeze large plastic storage containers full of water with a lid so a two litre container. I would than get it as I went up to bed and set up my fan so that the breeze skimmed over the container. I got to sleep with a cool breeze, and if I woke up and was hot I would grab another one replace it and get more sleep.

I also will have a few freezer blocks and use them on my person as you would a heat block, but to cool down. I have also sat with my feet in water with a freezer block in the water. Sigh bliss.

Your wrists are one of your areas on your body that if you cool will help cool you down, I will have a ice pack and place it in a towel and put my wrists on it, and behind my neck.

keeping hydrated and reducing sugar intake is great sugar will make you hotter

If you do not have air conditioning it really does help. For hardly a lot of money and both of these frugal tips will last you for many years.

Nutritionist Kerry Torrens advises Ice-cold lollies, slushies and ice cream might seem like natural choices when you want to cool off, but they may actually do more harm than good. “Cold food and drinks might give you an initial cooling effect but it’s short-lived,” says Kerry. “That’s because consuming food leads to an increase in temperature as the process of digestion is heat-generating. This combined with the rapid cooling initiated by cold food and drinks means your body over-compensates by increasing your core temperature. So you may actually end up feeling hotter than you did to start with!” That sorbet doesn’t sound so appetising after all…

Drinking something hot on a sunny day might feel like the least appealing thing to do, but warm drinks can actually help regulate your body temperature. Kerry says: “Hot drinks make your core temperature rise and that makes your body want to cool down so you sweat more to lose heat through your skin.” ‘Thermogenic’ foods like spices and chilli also increase body temperature as they kick-start our metabolism. This promotes sweating, which has a cooling effect.

Makes sense when you think about India and the Carribean, Mexico, Chile and Thailand, Malyasia, other countries with hot temperatures and a diet with spicy and hot food.

I will have cold water in the fridge and flavoured cold teas, some I have made much better and cooling with no sugar added to keep you cool and hydrated.

I give my dogs a yogurt ice block I make for them just using greek yogurt no flavouring or sugar. I dont give them too them until they have begun to melt as it may be too cold for them straight from the freezer. They love these and my cool carrots, I place carrots in the fridge and they munch away on them they seem to really love carrots and chilled on a hot day, brilliant. I dont let them outside and we do our exercise in the cool if possible as I am aware of how hot the ground, tar and cement paths can be on their paws.

keep cool

blessings Tazzie

Summer Time

Thanks everyone for kind thoughts after my we fall yesterday. No problems after a good sleep.

What a day, the smoke from the Victorian and NSW fires have made it across Bass Strait. It has been cloudy and hot so the smoke is sitting about. I went to Huonville today to get some bones for my guys. Huonville is the largest town in the valley.

I had made sure that the smoke was not from anywhere close even though we do still have fires in the north east of the state in the Fingal area. I checked the Tasmanian Fire Services website. It was interesting in town as quite a few folk were concerned we are all still reactive after our fires from last year. My heart aches for those on the mainland.

It was busy in town. I took the dogs to one of my favourite cafes for a coffee. Most in the area are dog friendly which is brilliant. I obviously was not the only person with that idea.

My guys saying hi to other cafe society Dogs.

It was so hot people were out by the river everywhere, it was great to see.

We headed home stopping for cherries! The cherries were late this season. They are so worth the wait!


Thankful for…

I was up very early this morning and watched the sky fill with a soft pink as the sun rose. It was warming up rapidly. I made myself a coffee and remembered I needed to check that the birdbath was full. I looked and noticed it needed a top up. I saw a movement over near my peach tree. AHHAHHAH! caught the culprit!

My peach trees lower branches had been stripped of the leaves, and in the process peaches have been knocked off. Here it was stretched up on its hind legs as high as it could reach! I slowly moved and went back in to grab my camera. Hoping the culprit would be still nibbling away upon my return. Sadly it moved (I had a bright blue t shirt on so Im not surprised I was noticed), I was able to capture this little guy. I do not begrudge he or her a nibble and know the tree is older and stronger, the branches are not as easily broken. There are enough peaches to share. The birds and possums eat the fallen ones.

the guilty party…

I was just getting ready to head in to town. I had to pick up a couple of things and I decided that I would take the dogs for a swim. I was inside and my dogs were out when I hear barking. The kind that says Hey we are protecting you from this very dangerous thing! There was something in the shrubbery on my driveway.


It was the echidna, baled up by both Busby and Miss Treacle. I moved them away, and watched as this wee guy left in quite a hurry. I do hope she/he had a trouble free day after we left.

I then noticed that this wee bird flew out of my car port light shade, there was a nest made in it last year. Though if they are nesting it seems very late. It is a sweet bird and I welcome it. I do find it hard when they are so nervous but understandable. Several neighbours in the area have cats that are allowed to roam and we also have an issue with feral cats. I am not happy about the fact the cats come over my way. When I see any or the dogs do, I happily let them chase them away.

A very full morning and it is not even 8:30 yet.

So we head off to do our walk. We got a bit waylaid(sadly I did not take my camera out of the car) our neighbour was throwing balls in their paddock for their two dogs to chase. Needless to say my guys had to join in. So we chatted as the dogs chased balls and played with each other. (Her dogs are a staffie kelpie, who is fixated on his own ball and his brother a boxer) Busby ran and got the ball and played with the boxer Miss Treacle said hello to everyone and then went and sat under the car in the shade. After about an hour I put Busby in the car (he was so hot he had drinks ) and Miss Treacle ran reluctantly ahead. Busby was whining to get out. So I gave in and they took off.

Dogs taken for their walk and a beautiful view from the hill.

Off too the beach! The folk festival has finished there are still lots of people and vehicles about. I discovered that an Aboriginal festival is happening for Monday and Tuesday Ballawinne Festival. Writer Bruce Pascoe book, Dark Emu Bruce was speaking tonight and tomorrow I am sure they will be very interesting event.

Dark Emu argues for a reconsideration of the ‘hunter-gatherer’ tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians and attempts to rebut the colonial myths that have worked to justify dispossession. Accomplished author Bruce Pascoe provides compelling evidence from the diaries of early explorers that suggests that systems of food production and land management have been blatantly understated in modern retellings of early Aboriginal history, and that a new look at Australia’s past is required.

Not that I could afford to go to it, yet it would be a very interesting event. I am sure I will know someone who has been. Well now that explains why there are so many people and vehicle still around.

OK no Seriously we are off to the beach NOW,
It was such a glorious hot day 32dC there were people and dogs at the little beach I went to. So Busby and Miss Treacle had a lovely time. Though neither were that excited to go in for a swim.

These two came up and wanted to play Busby loved it Miss Treacle was quite her own dog and chose to watch from the shade.

The following selection of photos shows what a great day it was, and how clean the water is. It is also showing my reluctant boy attempting to fetch a stick. I was quite mortified at his reluctance.
I did have to apologise to him when I went in to swim a bit later as there were two areas of like quicksand in the shallows. I sank up to my knees and struggled to get out. So no wonder my big boy had problems.

Miss Treacle does the beach her way today.

Whilst Busby would like to run with this guy in the water, but his day has been full of play runs and sunshine, I was happy that he did not join in, that he just watched in awe.

The dog in the water was so funny to watch he must be some kind of water dog. He just ran up and down in the water for so long while we stood watching. He just raced up and down having the time of his life.
His owner was not about but up at a car. The dog did not even stop to come and say hi to my guys. He was just in heaven in his own world.

He was no problem and boy did he make me smile and chuckle.

There were kids playing on the fallen tree. Swinging is not so much fun when the tide is going out. How wonderful to see them without a phone, taking photos or selfies. In fact no one (apart from me had any mobiles or cameras. How rare is that . All were in the moment enjoying the here and now. Using their brains to retain the feelings, the fun and all that will stay with them. That is what living is about.

Even I put my camera down and sat in the water, the waves coming over my thighs. Looking all about me and knowing how fortunate am I and how rich.
I went for a swim, so refreshing. I expected that Busby would join me, but no they both just sat in the shade. Not even watching me.

So much fun about floating on inflatable rings with a beer in your hand, sailing, canoeing, fishing, sitting in the sun, swimming, chasing each other or just kicking your paws up and making your own kind of fun!

Miss Treacle at 12 lets the youngsters carry on. Preferring to get to know other folk and tell them how abused and neglected she is. Here she just plonked her wet body (I had sat in the water with her on my lap…shoulders as she did not want to be in the water it was very shallow and cooled her down as she was very hot). on this lovely ladies mat. Leaning right against her. Knowing there is a wee 11 week old puppy there. Treacle loves puppies.

Poor pup was very anxious so I retrieved my girl, and my boy and we headed home. All that time in the sunshine fresh air and playtime. Dinner was early and they have both crashed, and I can hear only heavy breathing and snoring.

I too feel weary and very relaxed. I know I need to do more for myself in the way of exercise and things I enjoy. I was glad there were very few people at the beach. As otherwise I probably would have not stopped. I usually do not venture to this beach while school holidays are on, and there is still another 2 weeks before school resumes. Then the chances are it will be just us at the beach.
I do like that at least now I really do know what is best for me. I am listening to my self, and I talk to myself. I talk to my inner child. (another topic for another day) It all helps me to reduce the potential for being caught out by something that might trigger me. So a truely awesome day. What more can you want but wild animals feeling at home in your garden. A beautiful hot clear sky day. Pristine water and beach to swim at and hardy anyone on it. I am so thankful and appreciative of all I have especially my two companions.

blessings to you all Tazzie

Summer has arrived finally.

I went into a small town near me today, as I needed my medication filled. I was also putting out there, that it would be nice to have a conversation with someone I know. I love that so often things happen for me when I put things out there.

I took the dogs for a walk dropped my script in to the Chemist, bought some things I needed and decided to have a coffee. The cafe was full of people sitting outside, whom I knew and hoped I could chat with. I sat with my dogs at a large community table, everyone left over a few minutes.

My self talk began, oh gee nobody wants to sit with me, or likes me! When I am really unwell I might fixate on this and think really negative things; what I might have done, said that has made people want to avoid me, have I talked to much, been invasive, too loud, have my dogs annoyed them?

Fortunately today I was able to turn that switch off and knew that Yoga had finished 20 minutes ago and most of the people had been to yoga. That it is the silly season where most people have so much to do. It was good to be able to not ruminate and realise it did not matter anyway.

Not a sparrow I know. A Welcome Swallow feeding its young. @Echidna Home 2019-

I sat enjoying my coffee, looking at the world passing me, everyone caught up with their own lives. I realised how fortunate I was to be able to be comfortable on my own sitting in a cafe, enjoying my coffee, observing all that was going on around me. I watched with delight as a sparrow flew down onto the table and began to clean up the crumbs. Its movements were so cute, and it had no fear of me or my dogs. It even hopped down and moved about Busby no fear. I was being caught up in being mindful, and enjoying it.

A shadow crossed my vision. It was a man I know, we have talked quite a few times. He has PTSD and was an alcoholic. He actually owns a house but at times having neighbours too close, he prefers to live in nature. So will camp out in the bush. His appearance is different, he is quite aware that many people see him as a derelict. He is not. He owns his home. He is not destitute in fact he is financially secure. He has university qualifications and has been involved (in a professional manner) in some horrible tragic episodes in his work here in Tasmania.

He stopped and said hello and we ended up sitting talking for over an hour. It was interesting, and I enjoyed our conversation. I was aware of many people who would say hi to me as they walked by or came into the cafe, yet ignore him. It can be hard enough being different in small town, add to that having a mental illness, and appearing different, it His clothes were clean, he was dressed in a hoodie with it up which was unusual as it is a warm day here today. I have never found him to be anything but a kind and considerate interesting person.

Having a chat with me. @Echidna Home 2019

We were talking about how the world seems to be in turmoil and so full of negative bad feelings and vibes. He shared that for him it is the very time to be appreciative and look at all the positive things about us. We covered quite a few topics, and I really enjoyed our chat. It was just what I needed. Love it! I consider him a friend.

My dogs who had been very patient were happy when I said goodbye and finally moved off. We walked to the Chemist to get my medication; to get some fresh free range local eggs from our local wholefood shop(where many products are sold cheaper than the large national chain grocery supermarket)! Plus it saves petrol to shop locally.

The Little Free Library a beautiful piece of work built by the Local Mens Shed

I noticed that some of the guys from the Men’s Shed were returning the Little Free Library they had originally built it and it needed a bit of tweek, so it had been missing for a couple of weeks. It is lovely that it is back in time for all the visitors who will be coming to visit our beautiful valley. I often take a book and bring others back. I also love my State Library. Both great ways to get books to read without costing a cent/dime. Out libraries are amazing with free internet, story time for children, activities in the school holidays, stuff for adults as well. So I stopped to have a browse and took two books. I am so glad that the new medication I have been on for a few months now has given me more concentration so I can read a more involved book than I have in the last few years.

It was getting hotter and my dogs who had been so good were panting after our walk it was almost noon (daylight saving time) and it was time to head home. I looked at my gorgeous companions and decided that a swim to cool off was in order. So on the way home we stopped at a lovely local spot for a paddle and for Busby to fetch a stick that I would throw for him into the water.

Treacle having a paddle

Treacle is more a paddler, though I did take her out of her depth a little way so she could swim back in. Good for her back. I am pretty certain that it is not her favourite thing. She is a treasure though and swims and waits for me to come out.

Busby is always a bit tentative at first of swimming out of his depth. No exception today. Even though I was in the water too. I had hoped this would help him but it didn’t. I had not planned on a swim today I was in a dress. I did not let it stop me from a refreshing swim in I went fully dressed.. Busby eventually did come in and had a ball. He always lets me know when he has had enough, he takes the stick and hides it. Too funny.

He is off
enough runs off with stick
Stick retrieved

The week has been improving each day. I have been out and watered the garden and my deck plants, it is almost 20:00/8:00pm and the temperature remains at 26.3dC/79.34 this is so unusual for Tasmania. Compared to South Australia where Adelaide its capital city was 43.7dC/110dF and a rural town called Ceduna which reached 47dC/116dF I am quite ok with the warm night we will have.

Sydney and Canberra are forecast to reach 40dC tomorrow. Adelaide 44dC tomorrow and 45dC on Friday.

Where as in Hobart tomorrow it is forecast to be 23 and 33 on Friday. It is very strange weather for this time of year.

I am very happy with the sunshine and warmer to hot days, as my vegetable garden is starting to respond finally. Things will be late this year.

I feel for people in the areas with such heat. Fires in NSW have burnt an area bigger than Wales! My Thoughts with the fireies who are and have been fighting fires across the Mainland and here on the north east coast. All the incredible volunteer bush and country brigades. The people who have come from overseas too. Thank You for giving up your Christmas to help us! It was our turn this time last year to be surrounded by fires and smoke impact. So I truly understand what you are dealing with.


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