Thursday, December 9, 2010

Oh, the weather outside is frightful(ly cold).

All I can say is that at least it hasn't been a full month?

(We recently got about 3-4 inches of accumulated snow when they had predicted 1 inch of accumulation.)

As far as heating our home and staying warm ourselves, this winter season has been interesting. We have nudged the thermostat from 64 Fahrenheit to about 68 Fahrenheit. I fear we may need to go as high as 70. Really, we need to work on improving the insulation of the house, and get some throw rugs. Some good news is that our recent gas bill was not unreasonable. I take that as a sign that we are not overusing the heat and that it will be okay to turn the heat up smidge so my fingers can thaw out.

I need to recognize that this is a process and will take time.

We hosted Thanksgiving dinner for a few family members, and the colder temperatures did not seem to be an issue. I realize, though, that this could be attributed to the fact that we have 4-8 people in our house, as well as many kitchen appliances going. We used the stove, the toaster oven, the counter-top conventional oven, and the counter-top roaster (which actually became the coffee-table-top-oven and hung out in the nebulous foyer/living room area).

Aside from when I mention it here, we have not used our wood burning stove. The previous owners gifted us, whether they knew it or not, a whole slew of fire tending implements, as well as fire starters, long matches, and one 2-hour log. Said log is what we burned earlier. Now, we have no real fire fuel.

Recently, it did dawn on us that junk mail would make excellent tinder or random fire fuel. (We always set it aside to shred, but I have burned out more shredders than I care to admit. Either I am impatient, or we get way too many credit card offers. Probably both are true.) And we do have a lot of junk mail. We frequently get behind on shredding it, so it builds up. I am here admitting that we have moved boxes from one abode to another that are either predominantly junk mail, or contain junk mail as padding/filler. Not only do we have a lot of junk mail, we have old junk mail.

The other night, my husband decided to try out this junk mail as fire fodder business. He was sitting in front of the stove, feeding more credit card offers, and was quite toasty. Unfortunately, the warmth did not really reach back to the couch where I was curled up. So, junk mail may not actually heat our house, but it will raise the temperature of nearby air a bit, as well as help get a fire going. Plus, if we burn it, no dedicated con artist can piece the shredded bits back together.

So, things to do to keep ourselves and the house warm:
- more insulation
- throw rugs
- additional socks
- contained fires
- cook!
- at some point look into updating our HVAC system and thermostat

How are you doing?

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