Whew! It truly is cold. I don't know why but my little weather gadget here on my desk top says its 39' and I'm very certain it is much colder. The ground is heavily frosted. Good news though--the sky is clear blue today and the sun is coming up strong and warm. I'm thinking the house will warm up very soon. We never did get the heat coil thingy hooked up on the heat pump. Hubby says that the small heaters he bought are going to be much less expensive to run and eventually he wants to put a wood burner in the basement which he thinks will also heat the house well in this climate, especially since we insulated the house so heavily before we got the dry wall up. He got our heaters on sale, I noticed they are much more now. Anyhow we have four of them running on the main level. None upstairs. The bedrooms seem to be fairly warm most nights but chilly in the morning. We're just going with that for now. We do have some other space heaters we can use in them if we need to--but extra blankets is fine. Winter is short here and I don't think we need to rack up hundreds of dollars per month to heat when we know we are more concerned with having AC during the long hot humid months.
In any event--I'm chilly this morning. Soon however this sunshine is going to heat the main floor and the little heaters will stop heating, they have thermostats--kind of neat for space heaters.
I will also have the oven going. I didn't get my banana and corn bread made yesterday because I found I was out of milk. I do have powder milk--and it weren't for these loaves being holiday loaves I'd have used that. I'm not sure the dry milk is as fresh as I'd like it to be--its been stored quite a while--I don't want to chance any weird taste in my special loaves. I had the kids pick up milk yesterday so today I make the banana and corn bread. Then I will have 2 loaves of banana, 2 pans of corn bread, my big loaf of Polish Povitica holiday nut bread, and my 2 frozen jugs full of Creole Sauce for our Shrimp/Sausage/Creole Christmas Eve dinner. All that is going in the cooler with the frozen pop bottles for ice when we make our Florida trip.
I'm thinking I may thaw one of the small turkeys I bought on sale before Thanksgiving and we could eat that the day before we go and have sandwhiches out of it for the road trip. I'll ask Hubby. He likes to stop at fast food places usually, but I know he is getting more an more open to my frugal suggestions these days.
Some of what we did this year is one--we cut back our gift budget by $50 per kid-- this was Hubby's idea. I think they need help more now--but he is right--he has been supporting quite a few folks and will continue doing so for a while--so it is not fair that he also give as much as we usually do for their Christmas gifts. I didn't argue it at all. (for which I give myself a pat on the back, because when it comes to my kids I have sometimes been too generous)
Another thing we did was reconsider our travel plans. Hubby had wanted to rent a van for the trip. Our vehicles are all pretty old and we wouldn't all fit in one. He looked in to doing that and I checked our insurance. We have liability on our cars because they are so old it isn't worth it to pay for full coverage. Because of that we don't have coverage for rentals. Which means we'd have to pay to rent the van at a higher price --as they charge more if Florida is your destination. Why?? We'd also have to pay for insurance.
I told him I thought we should take my car for Him and I and Mojo and let the kids drive #2 Son's car. I said it would be no different to drive my car that far than if I were working at the library I applied to for about 2 weeks, mileage wise. I said if the cars are not in good enough shape to make this trip--well then we shouldn't be driving them around here either. He saw it my way when he added up the costs and realized that his smaller than usual bonus this year was going to begin to disappear fast if we weren't careful. The boys are getting both cars cleaned up and ready. #2 Son's car needs an oil change. Mine has a part it needs that is on order and should be here on time to put in this weekend. Mine doesn't have heat--that is a problem that has been on-going. Its a vacuum hose problem, which is a hard thing to fix and since I'm not working we have just kept a blanket it in and generally its plenty warm in the afternoons for short trips--more importantly the AC does work. (phew!)
Hubby has ordered a manual for my car though and he does intend to fix the heat--but not on time for this trip. We think its OK. We are heading south. I'll have a blanket and Hubby and Mojo won't mind chill--they never do. By the time we're an hour or so on the road it will be quite warm and its very warm down at the in-laws house. We'll need shorts and swim wear! Well anyhow, taking our own vehicles will save us several hundred dollars. That should be enough to finance my spring garden--including getting a load of 'real' soil.
Out my window this morning I've seen lots of birds as there always are when its this cold. They tend to eat much more in chilly weather. Riht now I see titmice, a Carolina wren, and cardinals. They all seem to come to my outdoor restaurant in little 'parties' "Chickadee, party of two, Finch party of 8."g
George was outside earlier and got into some of my gardeny stuff and now there is a trail of destruction to deal with. George is up in Daughter's room. I told her yesterday that he must go with her when she leaves. She wanted us to keep him awhile, but I think, it is just too hard to truly keep two puppies in training. Mojo in particular gets off his training very quickly when he sees George. I guess I need to de-stress. Having my Christmas tree in a chair with my new slippers being munched upon--and many of my new plantings torn out of the ground--well I guess I'm just not up to doggy babysitting much longer. I love George, and Mojo--I just don't love 'George and Mojo Together'.
Well my little Jug band critters are now all finished and dressed and just need their instruments and some need little mini-crates to sit on. Hopefully that will be done today or tomorrow. Then I'll post a nice photo. The weasel has a tux, tails and a top hat--so he's not naked anymore. He's smaller than most of the bunch -but weasels are small. Hubby's gift flopped. I talked to him about it and I'm going to make him something special after Christmas. I did order him something as well.
Oh more birdy activity:
"chickadee party of two, your spot on the suet is ready!"
Oh my this sun is warm on my face and shoulders now! Time to get the baking going and this place will be toasty in no time!