Thursday, November 20, 2014

Busy week

I got a couple new arrivals this week:

My first ever gas stove.
A very energy efficient fridge.
These are part of my goal to drastically reduce my electricity usage. The stove runs on LP from the tank that rarely gets used because we prefer wood heat. The fridge is rated to use .95kwh per day! I've also almost got all my light bulbs switched over to led bulbs. These are bright enough that one bulb can replace two or three cfl bulbs.

I took care of some medical maintenance this week too. An eye exam that revealed a risk for glaucoma, but no problems now and my prescription didn't change enough to need new glasses. Also, the yearly mammogram. Yuck. Huge relief to have that one out of the way!

My workplace is experiencing profit issues and is doing a reorg including layoffs. Very hard because there isn't any warning and you come to work to find someone you've known for 17 years is gone. I'm not concerned about my job; an advantage of doing something nobody else wants to do. It certainly adds to the comfort level knowing I no longer have massive debt hanging over my head. I have to restrain myself from shaking young people who spend like there is no tomorrow.

Still very cold but should be back above freezing this weekend.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

And Brrrrrrrrrrr

It doesn't take much wind to make it feel very cold when it's actually -4F(-20C). The wind chill is -22F(-30C) this morning. My face is the worst; I'll have to wrap a scarf around it if the wind starts blowing hard as predicted.

I used the snow rake to drag the snow off the lower part of the garage solar panels. Don't want to waste the sun while it's out! The panels on the house are out of my reach so will have to wait for the sun and wind to clear them.

The water bucket in the chicken coop wasn't frozen solid this morning, so the extra insulation seems to be helping.

I finally gave in to the season and pulled out my winter comforter for the bed. Sigh.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A touch of the bizarre

I had my first spam comment in years today. How odd that someone who wants to rant against women in this country would visit a woman's blog and expect her to provide a platform for him.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Not adjusting

I'm having the hardest time adjusting to the sudden cold. It makes me tired and achy; it's not fair! Seriously, 20 degrees colder than the average should be this time of year. Yuck.

Okay, enough whining.

One of the jobs I needed to catch up on this week was killing the rest of the young roosters. Not a fun job at any time, but the chickens don't like going outside in the winter and having all those raging hormones cooped up together was not good. This is really difficult for me because I love my chickens, yet logically I eat meat so it's right to do it myself. Basically, I zone out and don't think about the process until it is done. My son's friend was helping out and almost lost it at one point. I offered to finish for her, but she said she needed to be able to do it all. And she did.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Hello, Winter.

My posting has been pretty skimpy lately. Happily, I have finished the big rush project I was working on and am enjoying a week off! Normally after being worn down from work I would take some lazy time to recuperate, but our forecast called for our first winter storm today followed by a week of biting cold. With so much of my personal time spent on work, I had to use the weekend to play catch-up. Saturday was for cleaning and organizing the garage so the car would fit inside again. Sunday saw the rest of the windows covered in plastic and I brought in the half-ripe pumpkins (the chickens will enjoy them this winter).

Sadly, the weatherman wasn't far off and today has seen cold, freezing rain, snow, and north winds. Not a lot of snow for us, but enough to make chores decidedly unpleasant. The perfect weather for a toasty fire and a long nap.

I stumbled across a video today showing women who escape the modern world by living retro. Interestingly, they all admitted it was escapism. The two that were 30's fans seemed a little more balanced by being able to work and function in modern society. I even understand their interest because to me it's an intriguing time in history. Those who chose the 50's seemed a bit more on the nutty side, only venturing out once a week for groceries and spending the rest of their time being 'perfect' housewives. I realize this is a touch ironic coming from me, considering I would happily spend weeks at home; but I'm sure there is a difference. :)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

November enters stage left

Is it an omen when you greet a new month with an early morning dash to throw up and spend the rest of the day feeling grim? I don't know if it's the past six weeks of overwork catching up and weakening my system for a bug, but I wish I had finished that project already. It seems a waste to spend a Saturday doing the bare minimum: chicken chores and feeding the fire. On the other hand, the strong, cold wind wasn't conducive to outdoor activities.

Bright side: sunshine!

Now that the solar panel system is working again I've become a sun worshiper; grumbling with discontent on cloudy days. I've also noticed a tendency to monitor and try to cut down on the electricity we still get from the grid. That includes things the batteries can't support like the electric stove and water heater along with the circuits I didn't switch over while I get a feel for what it can handle. I've also ordered a new high efficiency refrigerator which will cut down on the biggest drain on the batteries...except that it was back-ordered so will be waiting awhile.

The chickens are all doing fine. It's an adjustment for me to take them water every morning now that it's been freezing hard at night. And today I tried to give them their treats on the less windy side of the coop; they look so indignant about wind blown feathers. :)