Well, That Was A Shock!

18 thoughts on “Well, That Was A Shock!”

  1. Love your blogs Beth. Keep them coming. Maybe Won can get on a bike at home and self generate electricity for your apartment 🙂


    1. Hey!! That’s not a bad idea! Thanks!! I promise to keep the blog posts coming. 👍 Thanks for taking the time to read them. I really appreciate it. Give my best to Meeka!


  2. Hi Beth,

    Hello from LA! I can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoy your musings from Portugal! I spend a considerable amount of time in Florence and have seriously considered moving there. You and Won and your adventurous spirits have been an inspiration to me. Life in LA is not all that different today than the rest of the world. Fortunately, the staff at All Saints has done a good job of keeping everyone engaged, with daily Compline and Sunday Morning Prayer. If you and Won have an interest in participating, I can send you the Zoom link. Keep “From Portugal With Love,” coming and stay safe! Peace, Tim Blair



    1. Hello!!! What a lovely surprise to hear from you Tim! Thank you for your delightful and kind message. I’m so happy that the experiences we are sharing here are inspiring you. I hope one day you take that plunge and move. It’s an incredible experience. Thank you for your thoughtful offer to send the Zoom link compline and Sunday morning prayer. Given the 8 hour difference Sunday morning prayer would be afternoon prayer for us. 🙂 Send the link anyway though. If we can make it work, we’ll join in. Give our love to everyone at ASBH. We have a special place in our hearts for that wonderful place. And, take good care of Janet. We found her first in NJ!!!


  3. What a nasty surprise! But it sounds like the two of you did a great job of team sleuthing to arrive at the most pleasant alternative…. once restaurants re-open and our self isolated lives go back to normal. In the meantime, good luck whatever you can do. Maybe get Sweet Pea a little treadmill that you can hook up to an indoor generator? LOL. Glad you’re maintaining your mutual sense of humor!


  4. Thanks for the information ! The cost of electricity is definitely eye opening but what made me reach for a straw and a bottle of wine (didn’t need a glass) was drying your clothes with a space heater. That being said I used a glass when I read the best option is going out to eat!


    1. Love your sense of humor! Yes…given our 100% reliance on electricity as our only energy source, our bills tend to be higher, but we haven’t seen a monthly bill that high since that specific month (it is now November 2020 when I’m replying to you). We are interested to see if we hit that mark again as we head into Dec/Jan/Feb. And, yes…we do use the space heater to dry our clothes if we HAVE to do a load when it’s raining or when it is too cool to get them dry outside. There are laundromats, but we prefer to do our laundry at home if we can, for no other reason than we don’t have to sit at the laundromat. We’ve adapted quite well to this new situation and don’t mind it anymore. (BTW – does Mark happen to play golf?)


  5. Hi Beth, Pam and I had a long conversation about this post; it was very helpful. Our home in Dallas is an “all electric” home as well but uses a heat pump (3 actually) to maintain the temperature inside. Even so, our bills can skyrocket in the summer ($420 in July). The reason is that using electricity for heating (resistive heat) or cooling (with a central HVAC system) is actually pretty inefficient. Resistive heating with a cooktop, hot water heat, iron, or space heaters draws a huge amount of current, hence the high bills in any part of the world.

    So, my inner geek appeared and I did a bit of research on solar power. It turns out that Portugal has the most sunny days of any country in Europe and the government is ramping up the installation of solar power systems. Fortunately, there are no local laws prohibiting the use of solar panels and there are several companies that will install them in your home or apartment (assuming you own it and the HOA has no objections).

    But even if you rent, if you have a south or western facing terrace, you can put out a couple of portable solar panels (used by intrepid RVers in the states) and generate enough electricity to power your TV, electronic devices, and 12 volt lights (such as LCD lights). And if you purchase a large enough battery storage system, you can even run a microwave.

    Then, if you add a smart home system to the mix, the lights will not turn on unless someone is either in the room or you “ask” the system to turn them on (that’s how my home office is set up now).

    I need to do a power consumption analysis to see what the ROI on this approach would be but I suspect you could break even in less than a year. You still have to pay for the resistive heat devices but you could make a dent in the lower voltage current draws and reduce your bill.

    PS – when we move there, this is part of what I plan to do. So, I’ll have more data once we have our system up and running.


    1. Wow Mark, you have really done your homework – impressive! Thanks for all the info. It makes really good sense too. Unfortunately, we don’t have a terrace or deck on the place we’re at right now (a wish list item we had to give up because we were limited in the number of apartments available to us because we have a dog), but you are right; Portugal receives ~300 days of sunshine a year, which from our experience to date, is true. For most of the year, we can just hang our laundry out to dry and our electric bill is manageable. It is only during the winter months when it can be rainy that we sometimes need to pull them inside to dry with the space heater. If we’re in a real jam, we can always take a load to a local laundromat. After that first month our electric bills have averaged 139 Euros per month. Looking forward to meeting you when you guys get here!


  6. I tell ya, I had to read this twice to see if I was reading it right – “We had a choice. We could keep things the same and pay the electric company (boo, hiss) or we could use our kitchen less and eat out more often (yay!).” That sounds like a great tradeoff!


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