Friday, October 24, 2008

My Furnace War

It's good to have goals. Goals keep you motivated, keep you moving forward, keep you on track. It's good to have goals; it's better to be King.

One of my Annual Goals is to not turn the furnace on until November 1st.
And much like my January 1st Annual Goal to slim down to 120 pounds, I've never seen it come to fruition.
Yes, November 1st.
Detriments to this goal include the fact that I live in the Northern Hemisphere, Maine to be exact, on an island to be specific.
It gets cold. Real cold. Real early. Like September.
And it's not so much the cold that gets's the wind. Lots O' wind.
I don't know that I've ever made it to my November 1st goal on my own. I've done it 2 of the 11 years we've lived here with the express help of our electric company, who aided and abetted by interrupting our power supply to the island for a few days at the end of October, two years in a row. (But it doesn't really count that way, does it?)

This year I was determined to make my goal. The weather turned while the boys were away. 
During that time, the country went into a financial crisis, and the lobster industry crashed. 
Boat price on lobsters went down to $1.90, instead of the average for this time of year, $4.40.
We'll be eating lots of lobster over here, as it's cheaper than meat! I wonder if I can barter lobsters for electricity?
More motivation to NOT turn on that furnace!
In fact, motivation to not just shut off unused and unnecessary electric appliances- but to unplug them!
And so, Thing One and I went through the house unplugging what we decided were unnecessary things (and fought vehemently over my coffeemaker. She won.).

We put on more clothes, dug out the really warm fleece pajamas, and snuggled together on the couch. Not just at night watching tv, but pretty much whenever we were home.

I began to gather my arsenal.


We call this a hippie blanket. I don't know why.
I've made many of these over the years; every single niece and nephew has one. Both of my kids have them, courtesy of my friend Leslie, who we think of every time we fight over them use them. I just made this one.
They're quite technical and difficult, as you can see. Takes a lot of effort to tie those two pieces of fleece together like that.
It's the warmest thing ever!!

So we were quite cosy, Thing One and I, huddled under our hippie blankets in our fleece pj's in our freezing cold house. I was able to knit wearing these:


and all was right with the world.

Then the boys came home. 

Thing Two, being the agreeable child that he is (and 5), just jumped under the hippie blankets with us. He did comment on the cold, but just did what we had done all week; hid under layers of fleece.

The Big Guy? He was having none of it.
He kept walking out on the deck, saying it was warmer out there than in the house (and it was, too!).
 I told him I'd make him his own hippie blanket- a camo one!!! Nope.
I dug out some warm sweatpants to sleep in. Nope.

He turned the furnace on last night. 
I hadn't even vacuumed out the vents yet.
It was like a snowstorm of dust and bits of paper (what do my kids do to the heat vents???).

I have to say, both kids cheered when they heard it kick on!
They immediately shed some layers.


Last Sunday morning, the day they came home, the thermostat in my kitchen read 45'F. 
It warmed up considerably by noon, but at 6:30am, could see your breath.

I'm now sick as a dog, with a cold. I wonder if the doctor's office will barter services for lobsters?


  1. Love your gloves. By the way, Miles has asked for more photos of Thing Two, because, as he says "I really likes Johnny." lol
    Sounds awfully cold out there. Must make a mental note, that if I do come out there, to make sure it is in our summer and not your winter...brrrr Bring on the hot chocolate.

  2. November 1st is my goal too. I almost caved last week when it was SO COLD and the sniffles I caught at Rhinebeck were refusing to go away. On Wednesday I turned up the thermostat . . . and nothing happened. Yup, furnace is on strike until we can get someone in to fix it. Maybe I'll make the Nov. 1 goal after all.