About Me

Life is learning. Life is change. Life is good. Life doesn't have to cost a lot. I want to make my life greener, healthier, and thriftier. And I want to enjoy doing it!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Getting Back On Track

Ever notice how the longer you're away from your regular routine, the harder it is to get back into it?  That's what's happening to me now ...

I spent almost four weeks coughing to the point where I could only sleep, at most, an hour at a time.  Now, even though the cough has eased off considerably, I'm finding it really difficult to get to sleep.  Consequently, once I do finally fall asleep  -  usually somewhere between 3:00 and 4:00 in the morning  -  I have a tendency to either sleep until noon, or wake up early and then have a long nap in the afternoon.  I need to get back on track in keeping (more or less) "office hours" ... I also need to re-book all the workshops I missed, and get the job search up and running again.

The switch to Daylight Saving time this past weekend didn't help much, either; my body keeps insisting it's an hour earlier than it really is.  It always takes me at least four days to make the mental and physical adjustment; oddly, though, it doesn't take any time at all to adjust to putting the clocks back in the fall.  Of course, then I can just roll over and sleep for another hour  -  and as a person who's chronically short on sleep anyway, that doesn't hurt a bit!

I'm happy to report zero food wasted this past week!  There was one sad-looking forgotten apple in the back of the veggie drawer, but the guinea pigs leaped on it and it was gone in about three minutes, so not really wasted at all.

The work on my new room  -  shifting, weeding, organizing  -  is still going quite slowly.  Even though I'm not coughing much any more, I still get tired awfully fast.  I can work steadily for about half an hour, and then I have to stop and rest; if I don't, pretty soon I have to stop to cough for ten minutes.  Baby steps.  It will be finished before the end of the month.  Most of the furniture is in, the computer gets moved tomorrow, and the last bookcase goes in next week.  After that, it's down to organizing, and making the curtains.  And I already have two big bags of donations ready to go the next time we're headed that way.

It snowed this morning!  I was, naturally, utterly disgusted.  But by early afternoon it had stopped and pretty much all melted, so we were able to do the Costco run for the things that are (according to my price book) better value for the money at Costco than anywhere else in our area: milk, coffee, peanut butter, mayonnaise, and toilet paper.  Big Guy pouted a little when I said "No" to a $20 beef roast, until I reminded him that he had insisted we should eat out of the freezer instead of buying more meat until at least one of us is back to work.  Frugal win for me!

Big Guy spent yesterday pruning the huge old evergreens along the west side of the house.  Now we have a lot more daylight in the yard, and more light in the house.  He was worried that the sunshine might make the yard and the house too warm in the summer, so I reminded him that in the summer the sun follows a different path in the sky and we'd still have plenty of shade.

I was checking some of my old posts earlier today, and ran across something that may have appeared to be a big contradiction, so I'd like to clarify the house-heating situation at present.
When there is no tenant downstairs, we heat with the wood stove, since we only need to keep the main floor heated.  When there is a tenant, we use the furnace, since there is only electric baseboard heat in the bedroom of the suite.  And since we'd like to have the suite occupied all the time  -  after all, that's why it's there  -  we invested in the new furnace.  I'm happy to report that since its installation our gas bill has dropped by almost 35 %.  Combine that with the almost 45 % savings on the annual water and sewer bill since we had the (free) meter installed, and the huge drop in the gas bill we saw when we had the tankless on-demand water heater put in, and you can see why I'm not as unhappy about the cost of home ownership as I used to be!  Now, if we could only agree on what style of double-glazed window to put in the living room ...

I've given P the go-ahead to plant whatever she likes in the raised bed along the west side of the yard, and she has all kinds of alien-looking flowers and ornamental grasses planned.  Considering how little of what we've planted there in the past actually came into the house (as opposed to being eaten by the local wildlife), it's not really a loss for us.  My plan for this spring is to hang planters all along the chain-link fencing, with chicken-wire cages to keep the squirrels out of my herbs.  Fresh vegetables will be dirt cheap all summer at the farmers' markets, so I can buy and freeze enough to last a long time without going over budget.  Now, here's hoping the sun will shine the whole time our fruit trees are blooming!

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