Thriving through the Greek economic crisis - Page 57
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  1. #841
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    If the pipes are inaccessible, how will he fix them if they break?
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  2. #842
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    I just thought of 2 other things you can try. The first is to put onions cut into half (or more in quarters whatever you like) next to your bed, this is not scare off your dh but to make breathing easier. And secondly you can make tea of licorice root, which it can help dissolve the mucus. Something you rather avoid eating are dairy products for they help produce mucus.

    Sometimes it helps if you can somehow make the head side of your bed a bit higher than the other side (for example by adding an extra pillow or by putting something solid under the frame).

    Hopefully something will help!
    (I assume you have already switched to spicy food with things like peppers)

  3. #843
    Registered User greekislandgirl's Avatar
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    Spirit Deer, I have been asking myself that question all day. I have no idea. He'll be here tomorrow morning so I can quiz him further. He is very "calming" in his manner, sort of pats you on the head and says "there, there, dear one, nothing to worry about" without actually giving you any real information. As a Self Sufficient wannabe this is not really what I want!

    Didi, that is funny that you mention scaring off Dh. I made pasta for dinner (in about 1 cm of water - orzo is the best for when you don't have water!) and I put some homemade garlic olive oil on it which I can barely taste at all. He was sitting kind of far away and said in a horrified voice "How much garlic did you put on that???" and I said "none! really! just a little garlic olive oil."

    I have lots of onions - I will give that trick a try.

    On the licorice root - I actually am not convinced that there is any mucus at all. What I feel is that my nasal passages are very inflamed and swollen in some way, but I have no sense of mucus - no runny nose, no cough at all, etc. Maybe there is but wouldn't I know? I will have to research licorice root and see what it's called here. I have tons of anise, which smells the same, would that work? (It's seeds, not root, though.)

    ah never mind - wikipedia debunked my notion that anise and licorice might be related. Phooey.

  4. #844
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    It could be the nasal spray you've been using is irritating your sinuses and making the problem worse.
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  5. #845
    Registered User greekislandgirl's Avatar
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    That wouldn't surprise me. That stuff is powerful.

  6. #846
    Registered User Wendy99's Avatar
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    I wonder if the landlord agreed to reduce the rent knowing in the back of his head that the pipes freeze? That's just insane & am so sorry you are going through that especially while you are feeling so sick

  7. #847
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I think it's more likely the rent reduction is due to the economy there. They want to keep renters who have shown they will reliably pay their rent every month. Lowering the rent will discourage GIG and S from leaving. I'm sure landlords are struggling to get payment from a lot of people these days, so they would rather have lower but steady income instead of unreliable payment or no payment at all. Besides, I think GIG said the rent reduction doesn't start till August. It'll probably be warm by then.
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  8. #848
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    Well the landlord was here this morning to pick up the rent (which was only €180 because we paid another €170 for property tax again). He reiterated the €50 discount on the rent starting in August. He didn't seem upset about it at all. He said that their retirement pensions got cut too, which makes sense. About the water: nothing to be done, except be patient. He said that they had done further insulation on the pipes in October (which I had forgotten about but can now recall them turning the water off for a few hours back then to do that) and that he was certain they would not break, but that we would just have to wait until it's warmer. Meanwhile on the news they are calling for it to be above freezing on Saturday, but for another similar freeze starting Monday. Fingers crossed the temperature remains above freezing long enough to melt the pipes so we can get them running BEFORE the freeze returns. We will keep the water running and hope that does the trick, but only if they melt in time.

    As far as how we've been handling it, I used some water to wash my pressure cooker, and cooked as much rice as was safe to cook in it. I am hoping to use that rice for lunch and dinner today and tomorrow, or, if needed, cook more rice in it without having to wash it. Rice is great because no water is wasted in cooking it.

    It's amazing how much water we use EVEN WHEN we're trying REALLY hard not to use it at all. Even just to wash a single spoon. Living in the modern world, I have never realized how much water we really use. Growing up, we never had water when the electricity went out, because we pumped our own water from the well with electricity, and I can remember when I was a kid going a week with neither water nor electricity. But back then, my parents took care of us so I didn't notice it as much. We also had a swimming pool, so at least when it wasn't frozen, there was water right there for flushing toilets and so on.

    Even so, I can remember going to a hotel for a night during a really bad outage, just so we could take showers.

    Tonight we're going to a friend's house to take showers and I CAN'T WAIT. We were going to go last night but it didn't work out. I miss running water!!!

  9. #849
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    It sounds like part of your emergency preparedness for winter needs to be to find some water containers. A five-gallon pail set next to the toilet so you can dip out water for flushing might be helpful. Plastic gallon jugs that are food-safe would be good for potable uses.

    If you could prep meals and freeze them in advance over the winter, that would give you meals that didn't require any water to prepare and minimize clean-up.

    It makes sense to keep some disposable dishes on hand for an emergency like this, too.

    Is there a place in the apartment complex where you can go to get water? It seems like the landlord should be doing more to see to it you have water, such as delivering water for you if they can't do anything about the pipes. Which I don't really believe. You rented an apartment with running water, and it's the landlord's responsibility to provide that. At the least, you should get a deduction in your rent for every day this goes on, because you are not receiving what was agreed upon when you rented the apartment.

    Your landlord is an optimist. If the water is already frozen, there's every chance the pipes will break unless they've been drained. Insulation is obviously not going to keep them from freezing.
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  10. #850
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    We did stockpile water but not enough.

    We do have plenty of disposable dishes as well, and lots of plastic wrap for making ceramic dishes 'disposable' but so far we haven't needed those. I'm keeping the dirty dishes in the dishwasher and choosing meals that produce no extra dishes.

    Many apartment complexes have a public-use fountain but ours doesn't. Our ILs told us yesterday that the one at their complex is frozen, as are the pipes of other units in their complex. They didn't have that problem because their pipes are on the sunny side of their building, apparently.

    There is no chance that we will get a reduction in rent for something like this. Hopefully our actual water bill will go down, due to lack of use. (Before it goes back up again from us running the water to prevent refreezing.) It is totally unheard of here for a landlord to deliver water to a tenant because of frozen pipes - I'm not sure where he would get it and in what he would transport it? This is the coldest weather since 1942 or something, there is no precedent.

    It is extremely rare for it to even freeze at all here, much less get this cold. I think something like 70 people died of the cold in Europe this week. We are all just hoping it gets better soon.

  11. #851
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    Okay, it's making more sense to me now. If it's a rare event that's why people aren't prepared for it and the plumbing is not better protected.

    We've tried the trick of leaving water running to prevent freezing but it never helped us. Still, we're a lot colder here than you are there so you may have more success. I'm assuming the -12 you referred to is Celsius and not Farenheit.

    The jet stream is very far north here this year which is giving the entire US (except Alaska) a very mild winter. We have about four inches of snow on the ground. We should have several feet. It's been great for the fuel bills here and getting around, but it's been terrible for our economy which depends heavily on winter tourism, which isn't happening due to lack of snow. The worst will be if we don't get rain this spring because lake levels are low and we had a bone-dry fall, so we're developing prime wildfire conditions. I digress. I'm guessing the jet being so far north this year over us is maybe having an impact in your area, causing your unusually cold temps. I do hope you warm up soon.
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  12. #852
    Registered User Wendy99's Avatar
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    I love your blog post on storing water!! We have some bottles stored that we bought on sale for camping, but once camping comes and those are gone, we will be storing more water. It can happen so easily.

  13. #853
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    According to the yahoo degrees converter that is about 10-11 degree farenheit. Brrr. I always imagine Greece as warm.

    Hope your water is fixed soon. I am sure a warm shower would be welcome.
    Frugalista Mama to DD 14 & DS 10
    Crazy Boxer *Sadie*
    **Debt Free Minus the House**

  14. #854
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    Yeah this is really rare here. The whole country is in an uproar over it, you know how it goes whenever the weather is weird it's the only thing anyone talks about. I think it's kind of a relief to have something else to talk about finally that's not related to the economy!

    They JUST this moment said that they are expecting to be 1 degree above freezing in our area tomorrow at mid-day (highest temperature). The issue is the length of time that it's above freezing, and if the sun is hitting our pipes or if they're in shade. Obviously because they are at a low elevation, and we're in a city, I am going to assume they are in the shade.

    Dh says "frozen pipes don't defrost 1 degree above freezing." He says he thinks we have a good chance of having water on Sunday but not before.

    Last year on the island I don't recall the temperature ever falling below freezing. It was bitterly cold because of the very, very fierce winds and ridiculous humidity, so the sheets were always wet, there was always cold north wind coming through the cracks in the windows, and we were always freezing BUT I don't think there was ever even an actual frost. That's normal for most of Greece.

    Where it's not normal is the mountains. But we are like 30 feet above sea level here. So while we are further north, we are only like 25 minutes by airplane north. Greeks like to think of where we are as cold, but it's not by normal standards. It's kind of like North Carolina or something.

    At the end of January / beginning of February every year we have something called the Halcyon Days. The Halcyon Days, mythologically, were when the goddess Athena took pity on the halcyon bird and made the weather mild so the bird could lay her eggs. In any case, Greece has a wonderful 10-20 days every winter when it's about 70 degrees F, clear skies, no wind, and lots of trees blossom. On the island last year, the almond trees blossomed during the halcyon days - one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. They should have started by now. I just hope that this stupid cold snap doesn't somehow cancel them out. They are essential for certain crops, but also a big help to the heating bill in the depths of winter. They're also a good opportunity to do a ton of laundry and have it actually dry.

    Spirit Deer, I hope you all get your snow!! What I really hope is that everywhere gets the kind of weather they're supposed to get and they always got, including you and me!

  15. #855
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    Don't put too much stock in your weather forecast. For one thing, I doubt your weather guys are any more accurate than the ones here. For another, a lot has to do with where you are. Even thirty feet of elevation will make a difference. We never get as cold at our house as at the local airport, because they're at a somewhat lower elevation than we are. A little difference makes a big difference. And as you said, it depends on where the pipes are, if they're in the sun, if they're on the north or south side of the building, etc. And the insulation that helps the pipes stay warm also helps them stay cold, so it's going to take a while for any warmth to make its way through the insulation.

    Wendy, we invested in stainless steel water bottles for camping. We just refill the system of eleven bottles whenever we come across good water. We spent two weeks on the road when we went to Yellowstone and stayed at eight different campgrounds and didn't hit any bad tasting water. In the last ten years since we've started camping again, we've only run into two campgrounds with bad water. Having a system takes less room and saves money over buying water. Just an idea.

    GIG, do you have a water heater in your apt? If so, shut it off and drain the water to use as needed.
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