Home > Archive: February, 2011

Archive for February, 2011

Update on the Christchurch Quake and Bag Party

February 26th, 2011 at 10:11 am

Update on the Christchurch Quake - 145 bodies and still 200 missing but some of these will be in the body count. 1/3 of the city will have to be pulled down as they are unsafe to go near, this includes the tallest building a 26 stories Hotel.

Text is NZ's quake toll surges, hundreds missing and Link is
NZ's quake toll surges, hundreds missing

Text is Christchurch CBD to be cleared: minister and Link is
Christchurch CBD to be cleared: minister

Text is Musician recalls 'mayhem' after earthquake and Link is
Musician recalls 'mayhem' after earthquake

The family next door to me has family in Christchurch but all are safe but 2 families have lost their houses and one house was only 2 years old and is standing on it side. Also she was in a shopping centre at the time in a change room trying on clothes and only had her undies on. She had a toddler with her in a pram; she found her clothes and quickly left the building. Went to get the car only to find that the car parks ramps had all come down, then had to walk home only find her house on it side. At least they are all safe.

I went to a handbag party at my DIL house but I thought better of buying any of the bags they had. They are the ones that you can change the outsides to make a new handbag with just few clicks. There were four sizes but at the prices that I could ill afford. I did take a friend with me and she did buy one so did most of the others at the party. The one that was big enough for a carryall tote bag had a price tag of $208.95 for that price you get a basic bag plus 2 overside covers. But this bag is still too big for me and the one smaller is just too small and I have a number of bags that size at home. So I didnít fall for buying a bag that I didnít need so a No Spending Day.

I ended up just having lunch and coming home to rest. I was driving with a headache coming on so didnít like to be out to long.

Christchurch NZ Earthquake Pictures

February 22nd, 2011 at 08:16 pm

As I have watch too much of this earth quake in last 22 hours I will need just go out to get away today. My thoughts go out to the people of Christchurch and their families.

Text is Christchurch quake and Link is
Christchurch quake
Damage caused by the 6.3 magnitude quake

Liquefaction in and around Christchurch as a result of the quake, this stuff is a no go area by the sound of it itís like quicksand. Saturate sand that flows like a river and no longer can hold anything up.
Liquefaction, happen in the September quake so the locals know not to go near anywhere near it.

Soup Recipes

February 20th, 2011 at 07:19 am

Looking for recipe using ham bones without any dried beans or peas in them, here are a few soup recipes.


Ham, cut up (can use ham bone)
1 cup milk
1 stick butter
Parsley flakes
Fill large pot with sliced potatoes.
Add sliced carrots, celery, onions, and cover with water.
Add 2 bay leaves.
Boil 1 hour.
Pour 1/2 water off potatoes.
Mix milk and flour, add to soup to thicken.
Add 1 stick of butter.
Add salt, pepper, parsley flakes, oregano, basil to taste.
Add cut up ham.
Also good with leftover steak or roast beef


1 smoked ham shank or 1 meaty ham bone from a whole ham
4 c. water
1 c. onion, diced
12 (1/2 can) (1 #12 oz.) whole tomatoes
2 1/4 c. red potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. ham stock base (optional)
Salt to taste
Parsley sprig

In medium pot, add water to ham shank or bone and simmer until tender.
Remove from stove and cool until meat can be taken off the bone and diced. (Broth may be chilled so fat can be removed.) Return stock to pot.
Add onions, tomatoes, chopped ham and potatoes.
Simmer until flavors are blended and potatoes are tender.
Add pepper and ham stock and taste for salt. (saltiness of ham can vary.)
Reheat. Garnish with parsley

Physio visit and lunch

February 17th, 2011 at 09:56 am

As I had a fall over Christmas which I hurt my thumb, I also had a sore upper arm on the same arm. So today I visited a Physiotherapist as I can get one visit in which Medicare pay for part payment. So I had to spend money as I had to pay $19.90 of this payment then I had to buy a large wheat bag $40.00 for my back as this is part of the treatment that I need. As the sore arm problem is stemming from a neck and back problem that I have. I donít need to go back unless I have more problems and do the exercises suggested. I end up buying some lunch of Crumbed Cod for $5.00 as it was raining and needed to stay put for a while.

Overvalued House Insurance

February 13th, 2011 at 09:17 pm

Today I have to go shopping and I will fix up my house insurance bill which is due in two weeks as I think itís well over valued, so I will get them to reduce it but keep it over valued by $60000 and contents reduced by $30.000 as they have upped my insurance bill by 23% in costs and increased value by $30000 on last years when I thought it was to high then.

Last year when I got this insurance bill, I asked about reducing the value down a bit as I thought then it was over valued then but they said it would only go down by $15.00 so I left it as is. Now itís overvalued by $150000 in real value as I have had the house valued this year.

The contents is overvalued as well as most of contents are collectables and they have a value of only $2000 maximum pay out if lost for all and as this policy is 'New For Old One' with an excess on it. Something needs to be done with it before they start increasing the cost because of the floods for next year. I would hate to see Brisbane if I got flood here by the Brisbane River.

I will be staying with this insurance company as they are one of the few that do cover for any flooding event.

Chiropractor and Podiatrist visit today

February 10th, 2011 at 10:34 am

Trip to the city today, to visit chiropractor and podiatrist as I need both to keep me in shape or is it just plain old age. I do get some money back on my health fund but not much so I have out pocket expensive with these visits. I look at that you have to spend money some where why not on my health. Over twelve months period, I have 12 chiropractic @ $49 and 2 podiatrist visits at full pension rate @ $53.50 and 4 subsidized visits costing $14 in out of pocket expenses. I do get $19.50 refund for each visit at all full price. In around about way cost is $909 between refunds and subsidize Medicare fund the out of pocket costing is $430.40 which I budget for in my bill budget allowance. On top of this I have found away to save an extra 10% off Chiroprator bill by paying the full bill yearly as I can't get 10% in bank interest anywhere.

Shopping day

February 7th, 2011 at 07:05 am

Two days no spending then I had to go buy lunch at Subway $4.75 for 6 inch sub of seafood with the lot including chilli. At least I enjoyed it. I had my list to buy at supermarket, 3x cat litter, 1kg skim milk powder, and fruit. As most of fruit growing areas have been flood here, I look for what was on special seedless green grapes stood out as this is my favourite fruit and I wonít be buying bananas for a while the prices have already skyrocketed. Cyclone Yasi destroyed 85% of the plantations here. I do still have some frozen banana for baking so I will make some banana muffins to use them up. I have some firm pears still in the fridge so I will make some stewed pears as these donít taste nice and I will sweeten them up when I cook them.

How did I go with my shopping list.

Cat litter x3 - check
Powdered milk - check
Grapes - check

Found myself at the empty checkout so paid for the above and drove home. $18.15 lighter.
I should need to go near a supermarket for my own shopping this week but will be taking my DF-M to do her monthly shop soon!

First monthly financial summery for 2011

February 6th, 2011 at 06:11 am

As I work on 28 day cycles, my dates may be out to a calendar months so here are the figures for my last period.

Itís time to start again on reviewing my monthly daily living allowance.

These are the categories for this challenge.
Items === Approx Budget===Spent
Eating out===$35.00=====$61.05
Groceries===$135.50 ==== $109.94
Clothes ====$35.00=====$15.00
Pets====== $50.00=== ==$15.17
HH items===$42.50======$202.00
Fares== ====$9.00
Entrainments= $12.00
Garden =====$10.00
Gifts & Donations =$35.00=== $14.00
Medical =====$15.00=====$44.50
Misc ======$9.00
Personal Allowance =$85.00 ==$26.75

Note only one amount is no spend
Budgeted for this period $530 spent $521.83
No Spending days over the 28 days =13 days in total.

Personal allowance covers confectionery, lotto, books, stamps, craft & hobby supplies, and I did donate some more money for our floods. Eating out including meal out with family we all go Dutch.
As for medical this is the extra out of pockets amounts that came up this month itís was Vitamin D tablets as I can up on the low side on my last blood test. My credit cards are still paid in full each month.

I do keep my bill money separated from this summery. This year I will be budgeting around $650 per period month to cover all my bills. I have started to bank each month out of this amount $180 to cover my medical & hospital cover so that I will have it available at the end of the year. These funds do cover all my fixed bills for the year if I can stick to this schedule as I have done for the past ten years or so. I just got my next house & contents insurance quote up $200 on last time but the value is over the top but will review these amounts before I pay it. I am not planning to charge insurers as this company is one of the few that cover us for flooding any kind. This budget will be tight but just doable. On my budget excel modelling chart I can pay the full amount this year.

If any changes to my spending habits will need to come out of my daily living allowance categories of my budget as my bill categories are very tight now. Still need to work on a few categories as you can see. HH items (Household) was the cost of the microwave so if took off $200 I didnít do to bad this month after all.

Strategy: - Track your daily spending down to the cent by writing it down daily.

Cyclone Yasi update

February 3rd, 2011 at 06:35 am

Well Cyclone Yasi was a category 5 over 285km per hour. It didnít come in on largely populated area so where it did impact it did a lot of property damage as they move a lot of people because as most of the small town along the coast are at sea level and storm surges of up to 5m high above high tide but some areas that were largely populated areas are lost power and now have only one day supply of water and over 180,000 with out power in the areas. Now this Cyclone Yasi is heading for Mt Isa and Alice Spring in next day or so. But it should be a tropical low by the time it gets to Alice Spring with over 100mm of rain. It heavy rain depression and flash flooding is next.

I think it could take many years to get Queensland back on it feet in the long term. As for tourist as Cairn, Port Douglas above should ok as these areas didnít to much damages and Airlie Beach area should come back up and running quickly. As for the Gold Coast never got any flooding or cyclone damage is open for business, I will keep you posted on travelling in Queensland.

Text is Tully emerging as hardest hit by Yasi and Link is
Tully emerging as hardest hit by Yasi

Text is Cycolne Yashi Slideshow and Link is
Cycolne Yashi Slideshow