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Sun Oct 28, 2012, 08:58 PM

Update

The monthly water bill came in and it stated I used 500 gallons this billing period. Which is half of what I had used in August. For about a week now I've been shutting off the water when taking a shower and just have it on long enough to wet down and then turn it back on again to rinse off. Before, the water I got out of the tub after taking a shower came close to filling a 13 gallon container but now it's half that amount. Not enough now for flushing the toilet so I make up the difference by lugging up from the basement saved wash water from washing clothes. It will be interesting to see if the November water bill shows a further drop in water consumption.

The temp in the house stabilizes about 15 degrees higher then what the temperature outside is. It was 55 in the house when I got up this morning and the thermometer outside showed just under 40. We had a few days of relatively warm weather (in the 50's) and the same was true then. The temp inside was in the mid to high 60's.

The task of raking and buzzing up the leaves with my mulching mower is done. Finished it this morning. The compost bin is full and everywhere I wanted mulched is so. I had even went to my ex wife's home and raked up her big yard and mulched the leaves and spread it out evenly over her large garden. She had the best of intentions with her garden but didn't have the time to keep up with it. I have the time and interest so we talked about combining our efforts next year on both our gardens and splitting the produce. I already know I'll be doing the bulk of the work but that's no biggey as I do have the time.

I have lots of apples and later this week, my ex and I are going to make applesauce and out of some of that, apple butter. She has the bottles and equipment and I have the apples.

Was told early this month by my former sister-in-law that I ought to be eligible for a reduced phone charge. I called the phone company the next day and the lady said I needed to come in and fill out an application. When I got to the phone company, the lady (who is a neighbor of my ex's) said she looked over my account to see if there were also other ways for me to save money and said that if I sign a 1 year contract for internet which I get thru the phone company, they'll reduce my internet bill by $15 a month for the first 6 months and then after that, it'll go back to what I was paying. I signed that and filled out the application for the reduced phone bill. Later in the month, I got a letter from the state of Michigan saying I was approved for the reduced rate and when my phone bill arrived this past Saturday, it dropped from the usual $87 a month to $43. That savings includes the $15 reduction on internet fees. This comes at a good time as my gas bill will be going up for winter heating.

The compost pile continues to cook nicely. When I removed the blanket that I had made from the fabric I salvaged from the two bed box spring mattresses I had taken apart earlier, I could feel the heat coming from the pile and the pile is moist. I have a sheet of plywood that I place over the bin so the blanket itself doesn't get soaked from the rain. I think the makeshift blanket helps a great deal in retaining the heat and thus aid in the decomposition.

The price of fuel oil for home heating has gone way up and my ex was worried she wouldn't be able to afford to heat the house with using the fuel oil furnace so she asked me if it was feasible to switch to an LP gas furnace. LP gas being much cheaper then fuel oil. I told her that it was and altough I no longer work, my accounts with my suppliers are still active so I was able to get what was needed at contractor prices and the total cost was just under $1500 to remove the fuel oil furnace and replace it with a 95% efficient, two stage LP gas furnace. She later told me that other people has said that job would cost about 3 grand or more and I told her that was my ball park figure had she hired someone to do it. So I saved her about $1500 minus the cost of the sub sandwich and chips she fed me one day. Before, this would have taken me one very long day or a day and a half doing it myself but it took me 5 days to do the job as I could only work so long before the body gave out.

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