Friday, April 11, 2014
Our Florida trip cost a bit more than I'd hoped, mostly because the van needed repairs. On the other hand, in any given 6 month period any older vehicle will most likely have issues.
We saved a lot of money by not heating our house while gone. This past winter was an expensive one in New Hampshire. No matter how people heated their homes, it was costly. Heating oil prices got crazy. I talked to one person who spent $600-$800 every month on propane, and their primary heat source was firewood. Electric heat in NH is even worse than oil or propane. The only ones who didn't spend a fortune heated completely with wood and had their own woodlots. Of course, it takes some time and energy to process all that wood.
I'd rather go sailing.
We did get a taste of winter by coming home at the end of March -snow, wind, and subzero temperatures. Brrrrrrr! There was some firewood at home, and my daughter gave us some from her supply. The other day I spent $60 on pressed sawdust blocks. They are similar to wood pellets used in pellet stoves, but in big blocks for use as a firewood substitute. The blocks are easy to handle, put out good heat, and burn clean. As the snow and ice melt, more of my firewood is now accessible, so we should be fine.
Our plans for next winter are to stay until after Christmas, then head south for 4 months or so. Fall and early winter will have plenty of heating days. Right now I'm thinking of buying a pallet of those pressed sawdust bricks. I'm near National Forest land. For $10/cord they allow people to pick up dead and down trees for firewood. It's not that hard to pick up a couple cords that way. There's probably another cord or more right on my land from storm damaged trees. It was a tough winter. The prudent thing to do would be have enough wood piled up for 2 years, but that has rarely happened.
One thing about winter, there's always another one coming.