Saturday, January 31, 2009
I finally got my W2 from work so when we got home I filed my income tax return. At least that's off my to-do list.
Interesting development: this morning I was motivated enough to exercise. That hasn't happened for months...something to do with having my house back in better condition maybe? I used my solar powered battery to run the tv while I rode the stationary bike (watching a Robbie Williams dvd) so that was my green work out!
I've borrowed a book called Total Money Makeover from the library. I'm hoping to get more ideas on debt reduction.
Tomorrow is a new month and a chance to cut back on grocery costs again.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Some people could have done this installation themselves, but with an investment in materials like this I wanted it done right. Fortunately, I have a contractor. My knees hurt just looking at this picture.
Down to the finishing touches.
They even managed to place the flooring underneath the legs of the radiator. Not a job for light-weights.
It feels so good just to have my kitchen furniture back in the right spaces!
I love it.
I've been lucky enough to find both an excellent electrician and contractor. If only I had such luck with plumbers. I've heard the horror stories of shady contractors. Ones who take the money and disappear, only do the demolition, haven't a clue about the job, or just do really shoddy work. I've been working with mine for over eight years and have never been disappointed. He's smart, meticulous to details, and dependable. Yes, even worth waiting three months for a floor.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Other changes...I've stopped using my clothes dryer completely. I may have to figure out somewhere in the basement to put another line. It's not really a problem now since the air is so dry. Spring will be interesting.
My contractor is coming on Thursday to put the kitchen floor in! He has to come because he's having me pick up the tools from the rental tomorrow evening.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Here is my future floor:Some time in the coming week it should finally get installed. Hooray!
Monday, January 19, 2009
I started with the easy changes like most do; recycling. The more I thought about the whole footprint thing, the more decisions became important: growing/buying locally, reducing what I send to the landfill, water conservation, renewable energy, cutting back on electric usage. One step naturally led to another so when appliances broke down I looked for energy star (high efficiency) models to replace them. When I got serious about what went into the garbage and growing more vegetables composting was the obvious solution (and one of the most satisfying changes I've made). Environmentally, the footprint is the key motivator for me; it's become a personal challenge or test to see how well I can do, but I think a big part of what pushes me is my innate pessimism.
What if? What if it all goes horribly wrong? If we've learned anything this past year it's that our economy is a fragile construct and is terribly vulnerable. We also know it's going to get worse before it gets better; what if it doesn't improve? What if? The climate, government, natural disasters, epidemic (natural or engineered), alien invasion (hey, anyone would get jumpy after reading the Posleen books!). My emotional reaction to worst case scenarios is to want to gather my loved ones close around and keep us all safe (much easier if all were on the same continent!). My practical side wants to be better prepared. Not in the build a bomb shelter and stockpile beans and bullets sense, but in having the knowledge and tools to be as self-sufficient as possible.
This desire is what has driven me to learn the basics of food preserving, butchering, knitting. It's why I'm trying to convince my parents to get their well pump working and why I wish we had the resources to go off grid electrically (very expensive here). I feel fortunate to not only live in a rural area, but to have grown up on a small farm with all the economies and hard work that involves. It hasn't been so many generations since the pioneers that we've forgotten that we can and will survive if need be.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
A side effect to this frugal month is there isn't any reason to go to town. Probably the only thing available in a smaller town is the library which is closed on Sunday. So I save on gas too.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I read a blog today about giving up shampoo. Nope, not for me. Another item on my list of green things I'm not willing to try: toilet cloth, handkerchiefs, and not bathing frequently. I have switched to solid shampoos which eliminates the plastic packaging and does a great job.
On the frugal front, I'm pleased to report that I have not eaten out at all this month and no frivolous spending. I'm afraid the furnace repair bill will offset any saving I manage, but that certainly was necessary.
"I wish...I wish...I wish..."
No magic here. No fairy tale ending.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
I should have stayed in bed this morning.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Gah, I have some of the weirdest dreams when I nap. A bunch of settings from my childhood were mixed together giving the sensation of being both familiar and all wrong at the same time. The snowed in landscape looked normal enough, but the gigantic spacecraft and whatever those other things were had me cowering. There's probably something symbolic about finding an injured puppy (the same size as a human baby) and carrying it across fences and through snowdrifts only to be ignored by the people.
Just one day left of my long weekend.