Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Time flies when you don't know what you're doing...

Do I sound flustered?

I think I am starting to panic - but almost for the sake of panicking! Not because things are moving along ~ they are and as we still have two working weeks before we head off, all should be done by the end of next weekend.

This is the goal ~ allowing Monday for mopping and dusting, Tuesday to do those last touch-ups and wipe outs (including the oven) and for the fridge, freezer, washing machine and mattresses to be collected by their new owners, Wednesday for carpet steam cleaning, Wednesday night for going out to dinner, Thursday for everything that is left to be done and Friday for leaving.

And that's next week...

This week is all about packing the garage and locking it for storage, getting the suspension, bushes and front end of the car repaired (don't ask - stress), insurances and tenants (when you think you've got that under control be prepared for the last minute *slap* of let-downs)

Our big rubbish skip will be picked up tomorrow some time ~ its had everything from doors to flooring thrown in. Every broken toy accumulated over the past 10-15years is gone, all the baby gear is gone, heck even kids books are off to new homes.

Today was one of those amazing days you can't really believe. Oh my ~ those selling vibes worked a treat. I had a little mantra going last night, and today - and I've just sold the fridge/freezer, the second fridge/freezer, the little upright freezer, the washing machine, the good queen mattress, the 'ok' queen mattress and reaped the $600 needed for petrol! 

Holy guacamole!! Only the TV, the Nintendo (and games) and lounge to go! Tho' I think I'll give the lounge to the Salvos. Gave away the double mattress as well - its in top condition but better used by someone who needs it than paying $25 to the tip for destruction!
Heck I feel relieved.

Of course we've had our solar panel contract cancelled/withdrawn ~ and they are now advising they have the right to sue us for the whole amount. So please put those vibes that the 'panel' will not only agree our cancellation is extenuating circumstances, not a purposeful breach and (and this is the BIG and) they will refund our deposit.

Had a brickie come and fix up about 30 bricks which had spalling due to being second hand and from a chimney - not an uncommon outcome with second=hand bricks. He and his apprentice ground out the bricks, replaced them and cleaned up the job. 3 hours outside in icy Ballarat and he wanted $60. Gave him $75 to get a few beers. It was a terrific job and so worth more than $60.

Car is the only 'blow out' - but safety first so there wont be any more blow outs there . . . will there!?!!!

Oi vie - it has been a weird 48 hours...

My body is screaming, there is so much to be finished, but wow things are finally happening with 11 days to go.  Actually it's one of the first times in a long time I feel the restrictions of the back operation and the physical limitations. I hurt and ache like the blazes. It's one time I feel 'disabled' ~ I can't go what I would like to do and what I would feel like I could do. My arms, neck and back have been pushed a bit too far.

Packing the van (finally!) - that is a real step in the right direction.

Rambling now - so tired after a mighty effort this long weekend.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Tick Tock ~ its almost time...

Who says 13 has to be unlucky?

In 13 days we leave for our new, exciting life in Queensland and there will be come enormous changes being afforded to us :D

Already knowing we have sold many MANY items to help pay for our move, the final few things are getting ready to leave our possession as we bring our possessions to a minimum. The lounge suite, the refrigerators, the freezer, the television and beds are the last to go - hopefully providing us with about $700 for fuel and food on the road.

Today has been a day of packing into the garage and cleaning ~ we've replaced two doors we have being planning to for the past few years; repaired the hole in the hallway (courtesy of MudGuts) and removed the red crayon line drawings left by Miss Imogen but blamed on her big sister Ebony. Pity she forgot she'd signed her name in the same red crayon. Gotta love kids!

Tired, sore but seeing an end to packing ~ it's great to move to a minimalist lifestyle.
I am so glad there is no more stuff and baggage in our lives.
Who would have thought...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Aluminium Beanies and Credit Card Covers

Have you discovered Pay-Wave and Fast-Pay?

And have you thought that waiting an additional 30 seconds to pay cash or sign an approval slip might just be better than waving your 'drastic fantastic plastic' past a machine which deducts money without confirmation or receipts required??

As of the weekend - all transactions using Visa, Mastercard and America Express under $35 no longer need you to sign or enter a pin. Some businesses have this operating to accept purchases up to $100. Apparently this makes for quicker service, but I am not sure I like this new policy. Seriously, how long does entering a pin or adding a signature take. Does it mean if you lost your Pay-Wave enabled credit card, it would be so easy for the finder to rack up lots of purchases less than $35 before you had even realised it had gone.

Coles do it, KMart does it ~ even McDonalds do it. I think what annoys me most is the shifting of responsibilty. I pay fees (sometimes) and interest to have a credit card and now it is my responsibility to ensure it is in my possession at all times and that nobody can swipe it to charge a zillion $34.95 purchaser. What happened to businesses ensuring it is me using my card (PIN or signature).

Fair enough if an individual was to choose to participate (which is what I thought the other pay pass thingo was all about - the one for under $100 purchases) but for Coles to have made a unilateral decision that staff are not going to ask me if I wanted to use a pin for a purchase anymore ~ well I am a little annoyed about this 'advancement'! 

National Australia Bank (NAB), do not allow its customers to opt out of having payWave-enabled Visa cards. Apparently it is the same for Mastercard's contact-less payment systems.  Customers who are unhappy with the way payWave permits transactions without the requirement for either PIN or signature have been advised to refrain from having a Visa card attached to their account. And that works how?

Personally, even the advertisement on television showing the frustration caused by a person inconveniencing others by paying cash instead of just flashing the card past the machine to pay for lunch seems to be more a human intervention into a robotic environment. I don't like it and don't wish to participate. Why is life becoming more frantic, fast and fan-dangled. Not all advancements seem to allow us time to relax.

Be it right or wrong, I have scratched through my chip so I can only swipe my card to use it through eftpos systems and will need to sign on all occasions. As I have not opted into the PIN aspect of my credit card this does not phase me.

I apologise in advance for the poor sods who will be standing behind me at the checkout for an additional minute or so while the check out operator must print out a receipt for me to then sign. I promise to have a working black ink pen with me at all times to speed up the process by a few seconds. 

At least I know I wont be required to purchase a new credit card holder to ensure my card won't be swiped when these new NFC (Near Field Communication) enabled iphones hit the market. That will mean you can read your RFID card code into your phone, and the new wave of electronic pickpocketers won't be able to get my credit card information.

Now to get Husband on board and scratching his chip...

Moving Madness

Well ~ just had our first 'blow out'. As the car has done around 300,000kms we decided getting new suspension as we will be towing a campervan for a good 3000km. $2600 and it has totally wiped us out. We are so travelling on the smell of an oily rag - and we need it to be petrol!

It's been a real achievement to ensure our shopping has remained under $25 each week for the past six weeks. We have all the amenities bill up to date or in credit - so we can at least get some dollars back when we get into QLD. 

Still need to organise car and van insurance ~ get the landlord insurance activated ~ transfer the VOIP phone and internet transferred and cancel all the power, phone and other such standards. Oh boy its going to be a full on last week!  Thankfully we have two to go :D

Chat soon friends ~ hopefully I'll be able to be back in the next day or so.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

From the country to the sea

In a flood of panic and erratic behaviour!

But I am looking around and thinking finally some progress is being made. Good progress. Ok ~ I am stressing out because I simply cannot pick up the 'things' I want to and this is getting frustrating. Of course I have been lifting the odd box, stacking books and now I have a screaming back. Joy - not...

We are eating down the pantry ~ creativity in the kitchen can be fun interesting a challenge. Only spending about $20-$30 a fortnight on food stuffs - mainly milk and cat food. In the past week we have turned 1kg mince into a hamburger dinner, a spaghetti bolognese and a mince & vegetable pie. ALL were delicious. I made a 'kinda' chicken cacciatore without the olives. Using 6 pieces of chicken, I added tomatoes, herbs, carrots, celery, peas and a big garlic pida bread to soak up the sauce. It was really yum and filling.

Splurged (sort of) and used a beef roast hiding in the freezer (and put leftovers into the meat pie) which we ate on Friday when Dad came up to help fix minor bits and bobs around the house in readiness for our 'tenants' ~ catching up with real estate this week to manage the house in our absence. Regardless of knowing the people in your home, we feel this is the best way to go.

Thankfully SmallBoy is not sick of having Weetbix for breakfast every morning ~ although we have enjoyed porridge on the weekend. Plus we did enjoy a pancake brunch today - mmmm love that lemon and sugar on pancakes. And maple syrup (but not together!!)

Oh I just want this all to be over and get on the road!!  Moving boxes and 'stuff' has been doing my poor ol' back no good at all ~ but I am pushing through without overdoing the lifting & lugging side of things. Well, as much as possible. Having a laugh at some of the things we are finding (and throwing out as you can see above!)

Lachie is starting to get a little weepy at the thought of leaving all his friends. We expected this and have friends over every weekend until we leave ~ he is keen and excited to be going - its all just a little bit scary and overwhelming for him knowing its 19 days away. 19 days - oi vie!

Still clearing out 'things' - selling some stuff for diddly-squat, giving away other items, piffing anything broken and the rest *!!* into storage for when we buy our own place in Queensland. It's all looking really good at the moment ~ we have enough to get new shocks and brakes on the car through selling our 'things' and you've got to be happy with that!!

This is what we have to look forward to enjoying on a daily basis. Sun, beaches and more. Time for this little chickie to get to bed and start afresh tomorrow morning.  Night all :D

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Wintery Wordless Wednesday...

And being -2.7 this morning ~ cold enough to leave ice on a duck's butt ~ it was "hello winter ~ thanks for the icy slap in the googlies..."

Ice - cubed ~ for the fairies in our garden to add to their drinks...