Monday, July 25, 2016

Battling the electric bill


For the first time in my life, I am living with central A/C. This home is 11 years old, seems well built, hopefully energy efficient (I have an "inside" unit, meaning I have neighbors on either side). Whenever possible, I shut it off, open the house up, use fans. When in use, we set it to 76 degrees, use fans, close drapes. We've had simply oppressive weather; heat index to reach 100 F today, multiple air quality alerts. Add in that the busy street behind the complex makes it difficult to sleep with the windows open, which I prefer to do. I am adjusting, the noise pollution is better for me, remains a factor.

Last month's electric bill made me blanch. It did cover 2 homes, and one where the A/C unit wasn't working properly (since fixed). While a bit lower than last month's, we still have to lower it significantly more. DS was reminded that we are now on an electric water heater; showers must be short. I also reset the programmable thermostat upstairs and cautioned DD that regardless of her wonky schedule, the A/C will run at a hotter temp, once I am up(which is 6 a.m.).

I can't think of anything else that I can do to lower the electric bill. My former2  rentals cost me approx (depending upon price of oil) 1 gallon of oil/day to heat water through the boiler furnace. Call it $90 for hot water. My electric budget was $100 at my last 2 rentals as well so I am aiming for $200/mo for electric. Natural gas was ubber cheap last month, I await the new bill. The realtor who rented the unit to me, lived here and told me to plan on $200/mo for utilities.


Problems with mechanicals


We've had some issues with mechanicals here. Door bell doesn't work. LL advised changing batteries at the chime unit located inside. Chime rang to tell me that batteries were working but the outside button didn't work. LL advised changing that battery as well. Still a no go.I had DX look at it; the connections within the door bell button are shot. LL's DH was here yesterday; advised me that a new chime with button kit will be purchased, the wife has to select it. The existing "kit" is no longer made. He thought that he could do so today after work.


We've also had multiple issues with the 11 year old, garage door opening system. One of the lightbulbs in the unit doesn't work, we tried replacing it with a verified, working bulb-no go.  The exterior key pad was not able to be used as 2 tenants ago, the code was changed but the LL didn't know what the code was. DX looked into it, reset the code with a new password, which I shared with the LL. DD's opener clicker stopped working, she replaced the battery, still no go.  It's a 2012 unit, a former tenant had lost his, this was a replacement. Most problematic is that the door has been opening of it's own accord-serious safety concern for us. DX again looked into this, we changed the code on the off chance that a neighbor was using the same one. While LL's DX was here, he looked into it. He then left for a while, later returnng with a new opener clicker for DD and advisig to let him know immediately should the door start opening on it's own again, at which point, he assured me that a new opener would be installed that same day.

What's been cooking?

Quick medical update:  in spite of having excissional surgery on my wrist, I have had zero pain, No need for narcotics, or even Tylenol. One of the perks of a high pain tolerance. Having another casted arm is an annoyance, I anticipate getting it off in a week, when I return to the surgeon. I am doing well.

In the kitchen department, we've kept things simple, and I am able to do quite a bit. Planed overs, burgers, pizza have been on the menu.

Here's Sunday supper this week:

 Oven BBQ split checken breasts (planned overs for lunches)
 the rest of a bag of tater tots
a microwave cooked bag of frozen, mixed veg. Not pictured was dessert: Jello with whipped cream.

Unexpected housewarming freebie

My auto/renter's ins company mailed me this housewarming gift: a jar rubber. I haven't seen those as promos in years! I do have some from an older relative's house cleanout, those ARE made of red rubber, not sure about this newbie.

Saturday, July 23, 2016


Surgery went well, they actually called to tell me that MD was running early could I come over ASAP? I had a speedy registration, and off to surgery. Here's my freshly casted arm that I am elevating for comfort.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Thursday: breaded chicken stir fry

 In an effort to use up veggie drawer, older produce as well as this pouch of stir fry sauce (condiments are a haven for salt that I must avoid), I created a breaded chicken (used $1.25 pkg of Perdue nuggets I recently bought and froze. After cooking in the toaster oven, I cut them into strips aka "breaded chicken."
Came out good; no leftovers remain.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Lunch at home

 Ramping up the nutrition, as I prepare for surgery in a few days. High heat and humidity finally broke last night, so windows open at last! It must have been at least a week of solid A/C going Yesterday's luncheon salad above
and here's today's. Mostly organic, locally sourced, delicious.