I got the electric bill today and had a shock. It had more than doubled! And the usage had more than doubled, so it was not just the cost going up. I was expecting a rise because of the Christmas visits, but not double. In our defense I must point out that it was still less than half of the same month last year. So I have gotten more diligent again with lights being turned off, using batch baking in the oven (baking bread right after baking crackers because the oven is still hot, just getting more alert in general. Jake (we have Jake back for a few weeks, I had not mentioned that) and Gerry are being less diligent, but they are trying!
I forgot to mention that after Christmas we went to Hobby Lobby and bought clearance white christmas lights. The LED ones. I hung a strand in the back room for a night passage light to get us safely to the bathroom. And I hung a strand above our cooking area which is dark. It is bright enough to cook by, but Gerry still turns on the other lights too. Sigh. But I don't, so that is a saving. The LEDs use 6 watts and the CFLs use 28 watts each. So big savings there. When Jake saw them, he shook his head and said, "I like that."
As I said, Jake is back, buckling down hard studying for his GED test. It is scheduled for February 3. He'll pass, and he knows it, but our goal is for him to get an excellent score, because that will be the key to future opportunity. I have found here that many people think the GED is a pass/fail thing, but it is not!
We have some chickens now (Thanks Lane!) and are getting eggs, lovely smooth brown eggs. And the yolks are ORANGE, so gorgeous. Lane also sold us a chicken tractor, but I am collecting ideas for a different one to build come Spring.
I think I am tired of the weather, and am going to make myself go for a hike today. It will do me good. I have been outside of course, but only briefly, to check on the chickens, hang laundry, etc. But I need to be outside in the fresh frigidity for a while. Come to think of it, I have not even been off the FARM, at all (!) since New Year's Eve, when we went to Tom and Dreama's lovely party (Thanks for having us over, you are so dear) I will take a basket in case I find something not encased in ice that is forageable.
Gerry got a new scanner for his laptop which will help immeasurably with research, once we figure it out that is. Both of us are technologically challenged. It is a tiny thing, looks almost like a pen, that we are supposed to be able to just run down a page of a book to scan it. Anyone know what I am talking about? Gerry was swearing at his computer last night, it was a tad unpleasant, LOL.
I have also decided I want to replace my broken coffeemaker with a percolator, which we can put on the woodstove, and not have to constantly buy filters for. I'll have to order one, because I can't find them locally, and also new, because I have been completely unable to find a used one for the 2 years I have been looking. Don't trust the ones on Ebay to not have holes or missing parts. So we will limp along with the coffee maker for now.
Well, I am off to do something useful and productive. What will you do today?