Thursday, November 24, 2016


When we bought this house we didn’t move in right away. Scott wanted to put new flooring in, paint the walls and fix the ceilings, and it’s easier when there is no furniture in the way. But we had to keep the house heated, and even though the thermostat was turned as low as possible to maintain the drywall in freezing outdoor temperatures, the fuel bills were ridiculously high, like $500 a month if I’m remembering correctly. That's crazy-high when you consider that the house is only about 1000 square feet. 

The first thing Scott did was set about replacing the old oil furnace, for if it was costing us that much when we weren’t living in the house, it would bankrupt us once we needed a comfortable temperature to be maintained. As soon as he could, Scott re-insulated the walls and attic and installed new windows, all of which would help conserve heat, but that was the following year.

A natural gas furnace was out of the question, as the gas-supply lines don’t run out to our place. We could’ve paid to get them dug in, but the cost seemed prohibitive. Propane wasn’t the best idea either, and we didn’t have the funds to make the investment in solar heating or geothermal, so we stuck to oil, even though it wouldn’t be our choice if we had every option. We do care about the environment, after all. But we had to do something and we had to do it fast.

So here we are now, buying fuel oil each fall to get us through the winter. It pollutes and it's expensive. On my way to bed I turn the thermostat down to 68F because I like a coolish room for sleeping, and every year I say I’m going to leave it there all day: layer up, leave the heat down. I’ve never been able to do it though. Eventually I get sick of my hands being cold no matter how many sweaters I’ve got on, and crank the furnace up to 72F during the day. Or if I don't, Scott does, believing warmer air translates into less moisture condensation on the inside of the new windows. (These windows are a whole other story. If you live where we do, don't buy windows designed for Calgary's chinook weather.)

I’m trying again to keep the thermostat low. We’re into the fourth day. I’m bundled up. Maybe I’ll have better luck this time, having figured out that keeping my feet warm by wearing shoes or slippers makes a huge difference. So does getting moving. I get cold if I sit still too long. Maybe I should wear a knitted beanie in the house. Hey! There's a thought. Not that I'm a hat person. I don't actually like wearing things on my head. 

You can't see them here, but we have at least a dozen chickadees at the feeders all day long. Cute little things. I often sit on my knees backwards in the easy chair to watch them and, when I do it for more than a minute, experience deep relaxation.

I laid down at 10 so that I'd be receptive to Kate's energy treatment, and when I got up and looked at the time it was 10:30. The first thing Kate said when she wrote to me afterwards was that she'd noticed the connection seemed to be lost after a half-hour. How's that for apples, eh? 

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  1. Kate, I can relate to all of your strategies for keeping warm with the thermostat turned down. I have a beanie to wear if I feel chilled, love it, but seldom need it. I wear layers, socks and slippers are a must, as my Grandpa used to say, "if your feet are OK, you are all OK," a saying he brought back with his time in the military during World War One. One additional thing that I do, that isn't on your list yet, is put a scarf around my neck as soon as I feel a little bit chilly, it seems to help a lot, but could be just my physiology.

    I felt peaceful just reading about you watching your chickadees!

  2. Wow I'm on wood supplemented with a bit of hydro that I watch like a hawk. Without my Ansa I can now close all my doors which really helps.I run through the chilly halls. Lol. Thick socks and toasty fire and this ginormous hoody from LLBean complete the image.

  3. I'll agree with Maggie in that if your feet are covered that's half the battle.
    We have four seasons here in Melbourne- don't laugh but I freeze in our winter. Seldom does it go below 0c except a few times overnight. 0 - 10 is about tops from May to late August. It usually rains and that is what makes it feel cold. It's the end of November now - late Spring, should be warming up to the 20s. Summer begins officially December 1, not sure where Spring went because Winter keeps coming back! Today was only 17c and overnight will be 9. The house never seems to be warm so it's still warm clothes, socks knitted slippers and sometimes a thin scarf to keep my neck warm.
    Wishing you luck with your Winter. With all that white stuff you get there's no way The Golfer (my other half who plays, you know what) would visit his extended family in Nova Scotia at Christmas time lol
    Take care

    Cathy @ Still Waters

  4. Catching up on the last many posts before jumping over to your new site. You've been busy! And, as you know, I am distressed and dismayed by the election results, too.


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