Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

In Case of Emergency, Break Plastic

It's been a hell of a day, and I've just been a spectator. Which I really think is worse. I would much rather be able to DO something than not. Today, I felt fear.

Real fear. I haven't had that in a while. Not simple anxiety or panic because I've ran out of milk. Not an irrational reaction to a lost file. I know about these. I know my anxiety will trip to the edge for no good stinking reason. I can pull it back from that. I KNOW what's happening. I get milk, do yoga, knit a few rows and the world eventually rights its self. Or my perspective of it slaps it's self in the face. And I don't mean being merely afraid. People who say they aren't afraid of anything are lying or have no imaginations. This was not being afraid of the boogie men.

This was different. This was rational fear. This was a fear of a real threat. Real fear awakens primitive instincts. It brings us all to basic level that cares nothing for our job title, money we make, opera tickets we hold, or who's elbows we rub. Multiple degrees and higher education fly right out the window. We are all capable doing what needs to be done to survive. We instinctively feel fear when something threatens our safety, security and happiness. We protect what we hold most sacred from danger. It's in our nature.

So, it's been hard to focus on anything other than my fear. Just now, the shock of the fear is passing. Trying to make poor jokes to lighten the mood, knowing the worst is most likely over (but the frickin' tinder box could explode at any time). I admit I broke into the "emergency bag" of M n M's at work. The fear is still there. And bad.

The fear has been so bad, I haven't been able to even knit!

All my love and prayers.Em

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Power update


Called the power company to give a new meter reading and have them adjust the bill. We discovered that the meter has died. Which means that bill has gone bye-bye and they can only charge me the minimum charge of $10.00 plus taxes, etc. And they have to send someone out to replace the meter, which means that they can't accurately charge me until that happens.

So, a tech will be digging through 3 1/2 feet of snow to replace the meter. And in the mean time?

I've cranked the heat ALL the way up. Sure the heck beats paying over $600!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Electric Bill

Boy, is the power company's estimate off. $629.37. My very first electric bill.

I don't think so.

They "estimated" my first bill. How exactly do they do that when they have no previous data of usage? Cause I really think they pulled a number out of their dreams. With the amount of wool in my new house acting as extra insulation, a candle can maintain the indoor temp. Plus the wood stove, the all florescent or led lights that were installed, the energy efficient skylights, the door and window weather proofing I did that has effectively hermetically sealed the house.

And they think my usage is how much?!
Original Reading (actual) 12/08/09 = 2249
Estimated 02/05/10(during blizzard) = 9260

Estimate usage= 7011

Current ACTUAL reading as of today =2259
And I read the sucker three times and checked for other meters that are unknown to me. Nope. This is it.

Now, What does this read to all of you? I do not see this reading anything close to 9260. But hey, maybe I'm wrong. What do you think?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Snowed in!

So, 3 feet of snow. Time to play with some fleece. I wanted to dye a little bit in various colors to try my hand at felting. So how do you dye in small batches with out being wasteful and in many colors at once?

You can it. Just like jam.

I used food coloring and then did a little test with various acids to see how it would turn out.

I wet the fleece and twisted it into "hanks." I filled the jar 1/2 way with water and dye solution and gently lowered the fleece into the jar. I then added water covering the fleece. I but on the lid and tilted the jar so that the dye and water would mix. Do not shake! Once I had all the jars filled, I put them in a water bath as though I was canning tomatoes.

I put on the lid and let it sit at a low simmer for about 45 minutes. I then let them cool in the water bath, and then removed them to the counter to continue to cool to a warm temp. I then gently opened each jar, pouring out the contents (one at a time) and giving them a gentle rinse in a bowl of warm water. Then into the salad spinner with each. I then let them dry on a rack. Once they were mostly dry, I un-twisted the hank and spread them out to complete the drying.

Which gave me little bits or roving in multiple colors. I thought it was a simple way to dye and fun.

The Neighbor Who Doesn't Smile

I have a neighbor who doesn't smile. The other neighbors don't know his name. They all say he's grumpy and keeps to himself. But every time I see him, or pass him on the road, I smile and wave. He never smiles back. And it doesn't matter, I smile and wave.

This morning I knew I was waking up to almost 3 feet of snow. Dreading the day of nothing but shoveling ahead, all my head could focus on was making coffee. As I waited for the glorious machine to let me know that the elixir of life was ready, it occurred to me that I was hearing a humming. The humming of a motor. Could it be possible that by some fluke the snow plows were actually clearing our cul-de-sac? I crept to the window and peeked out.

There was my non-smiling neighbor, with his snow blower, clearing out my driveway and a path to my door. His house and my house across the cul-de-sac, and a little way up the pipe stem he cleared.

Once dressed, I went out to contribute to the snow shoveling efforts. My non-smiling neighbor was cleaning his snow blower to put it away. I went up to him and smiled. I introduced myself and thanked him for clearing my driveway and making a path to my door. With a slim cigar clamped in his teeth, he told me his name is Tom. And I could tell in an instant.

I grew up with a neighbor named Bob. And elderly gentleman. Who seemed gruff and stand-offish, when really, he was painfully shy. And that was who Tom reminds me of. Tom has a slight studder and struck me as being very shy. Not grumpy, cold, or a bad neighbor. Just shy and a little solitary. And he was caring enough to take pity on the single woman living alone and cleared her driveway.

I have a neighbor named Tom. And I will smile every time I see him, whether or not he smiles back.