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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