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Weather Changes

October 14th, 2009 at 04:13 pm

Yes, I do think the storm is over. Phew. Was pretty nasty.

Still warm. House is at 71. No heat needed. No sun, but it also didn't get any colder over night. So house temp has stayed rather steady. Usually it warms up a bit during the day and drops back to 70 in the colder nights. Major reason why is extreme energy efficiency in the house. Our parents & friends have been running their heat for weeks, in their older homes.

Yesterday I turned up the hot water heater a bit. I put a black mark where we had it set for summer. We average 6 Therms a month in the summer. I can't remember where I set it for winter, or fall, so I think I will mark the winter level once we find it again. Summer is marked. We go in between for spring and fall.

Chalk that one up to energy efficiency too. Funny thing is we LOVE our HOT showers. I think between the insulation and the hot garage, it just doesn't have to work very hard in summer. Plus, in summer we are probably happy with "lukewarm."

I also turned off the outside irrigation ahead of the storm. Seemed a good time to reset everything for our more wet fall/winter. In summer we were told to conserve water for drought, but both the HOA and the city were clear that unnatural emerald green lawns were still expected. But that we could only water every other day.

Talk about conflicting messages!

I decided to stick to my watering 2 times a day schedule, and stick to the days the city allowed. If they wanted to bother us we would ask them how to make our lawn look nicer not being able to water every day in 100+ temps.

(Our city is known for being huge water wasters. Our long term goal is to do desert landscaping in the backyard. Not allowed in the front yard, of course).

Anyway, the summer was a tad mild, which maybe helped. But the watering schedule really did well. The lawn stayed pretty green, and we used a lot less water than usual. Phew. We've only been watering 2 times a day for a couple of years. IT seems like a good strategy - and is allowed. WE are limited to 20 minutes a day or something.

Last fall I wrote down our fall/winter watering schedule, which was a huge help. I lowered the watering times and switched everything to water only one time a day. Kept it at 3 days a week or whatever it was for summer. I made sure to write down where everything was at for summer. I should have done all this sooner. I can never remember how we watered last year or where the hot water was set, etc. Hopefully this makes life easier.

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I ran by the store this morning and stocked up on tea. Good Earth Original - sweet and spicy. The one I mentioned yesterday.

Thankfully my friend told me to look in the Health Food aisle. Wasn't sure what that meant, but I found it easily enough.

I actually got the last 2 boxes - is a popular one.

Amazon cost 60 cents more per box, to buy in bulk. I may shop around a bit if I don't get sick of it. But looks like grocery store wins - will ask dh to keep an eye out for it on sale.

For soda - I had settled back onto the small cans (12 ounces?). More expensive, but I drink so much less that way. I've come full circle. Dh had talked me out of them because they were more expensive! I picked up some six-packs at Target for about $2.50 or so. "Ugh," I thought. So while at the store I checked just in case they were on sale. Full price there was more like $3.50. Suddenly $2.50 didn't seem so bad. I will keep an eye out. Though I do hope to wean off a bit with the tea as a replacement. A much cheaper habit, that is for sure.

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We will probably get dh's brakes checked this week. Not sure what to expect since at 100k+ miles they have never had any brake work done. BUT, we have had them checked many times. Always fine and dandy. (FORD, by the way. You don't have to spend a fortune to get a decent car. My pet peeve of late).

They felt *off* to me last week and so I talked dh into it, though he thinks I am crazy. Better safe than sorry. (I've lost my brakes before - he hasn't).

Interestingly, my brakes were grinding this morning. I think it is just from the rain/storm. They were fine once I got on my way. BUT, I was thinking it just figures. Our cars have settled on the same repair schedule. Though mine (DODGE) is at 70k miles. But obviously 70k miles isn't bad either, for no brake work. I can't complain if they both need brake work. Or new brakes altogether.

I think our driving habits are very different up here. Neither of us particularly drives in stop and go. No brake work since moving up here, though I always had brake work done in the Bay Area. Much more often!

I was going through our auto records a while back. As much as my car has pissed me off with it's issues, I realized my vehicle has had no mechanical issues (knock on wood). What it has had is a lot of electrical/computer issues. It makes me realize our tendency to buy stripped down/less featured models in our younger more broke years really paid off. When I smashed my van door the first thing I thought was, "Thank goodness that is not an electric door." Because of course everyone else I know has an electric door. My annoyance at the very idea ended up being more logical than I realized. All those fancy features just add up to one more thing that can break. I knew that, but as I now own a nicer vehicle with more features, I really feel the pain in the pocketbook.

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In financial news, Fidelity sent me a notice that they will start to charge low balance fees for funds under $2k.

I have a few funds I wanted to add a little to while the stock market it low. But it would really throw off my stock market allocation! So I haven't.

Anyway, if I contribute my November ROTH contribution to Fidelity, I will save $12. I guess that is good motivation to top that one off.

I rather the market go lower before I feel enticed to add to the others. Like other bloggers have mentioned, I expect the market to dip again too. Either that or I at least wanted to evaluate my cash position in December. Will see.

2 Responses to “Weather Changes”

  1. debtfreeme Says:

    MM-

    A friend of mine has passed the CPA exam here in Sac but her credit is shot because she went through a divorce then a 20% loss in pay.

    Do CPA/accounting firms usually pull your credit report when doing an interview? Is there a place where she can find a better job here in Sacramento?

    Her latest employeer has really taken her self esteen and plummeted it to the bottom.

    Feel free to email me through the website if it helps. She has two kids and is barely making it each month. I want to help her find something better.

  2. debtfreeme Says:

    And I love Good Earth Tea.I drink it every morning either the caffeinated or the caffeine free.

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