Wednesday, November 17, 2010

*Chirp, Chirp

Do you hear crickets?

As tired a refrain as it may be, the office has been quite busy. We've had recruiting trips, urgent deadlines, grant reporting, and conferences. On top of the regular stuff we do on a regular basis. It does not leave much time for anything else.

We have an upcoming conference soon, and this time, my husband is coming with me. We both have family in the area, and this is a great opportunity for us to visit and have a little time away. Since the visit is because of a conference for work, my travel and room and board are all reimbursable. It will be a crazy and busy schedule for me, but should be fun!

I also went on a recruiting trip a few weeks ago. During my first stop, I stayed at a hotel that had apples in the lobby and a Target across the parking lot. This was wonderful. I ate more apples in that 24 hour period than I thought was possible, but they were delicious. I was also able to stroll through Target for my dinner, instead of paying outrageous amounts for a restaurant meal. Plus, even though I had neglected to bring granola bars, I was able to pick up a box at Target. Apples and granola bars can make an interesting meal.

In other news, the weather has certainly gotten much colder here. Last year, we were able to put off turning on the heat for a good while, and even then, keep the temperature set at about 65 degrees Fahrenheit. We were in an apartment then, and while we only shared a wall/floor with two other units, sharing their heat (we were on the top floor) really helped us keep our own heating costs down.

Now that we are in our own, stand-alone house, heating it is a different story. (Plus, I suspect some major lapses in good insulation. Another project.) We've tried to keep the thermostat set at about 64-65 degrees Fahrenheit, but it is an older model which is difficult to regulate. That and 64 degrees in the house feels tremendously colder than 65 did in the apartment. (I blame my beloved wood floors.)

We do have a wood burning stove in the fireplace. We have tried it once, and it did a nice job of keeping the immediate vicinity (well, the TV viewing area) warmer. We've also purchased a small space heater for the bedroom. Close the door, and after a few minutes, it is positively toasty! (Always follow the instructions, and keep flammable items away from a space heater. Do not leave it unattended!) Of course, we turn it off and unplug it before bed.

In addition, you should see the layers I put on at home. At any given time, I'll have on one or two pairs of socks, maybe leggings and pants, and a shirt plus a sweater. In the morning, when I let our dog out, I am usually toddling about with a hoodie, a sweater, and a coat. But that is because I roll out of bed and let her out. It is the very first thing I do, aside from put on my glasses.

Our electric bill has been slashed though. But, we have gas heat, and are waiting for that bill to spike. It hasn't yet, but we are trying to be prepared.

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