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It’s a Learning Process…

December 7, 2011

Nell said she had to sit with the car running for about ten minutes this morning, to let the ice melt from her windshield… one of the drawbacks of no longer having a garage.  She left about 5:30.  I got up to see her off, then went back to bed.  (Hey, I’m retired from a regular job; I’m supposed to be able to do that.  Although I’ll admit, after almost three years, I still feel guilty about it.)  When I got up at around 7:00 am, the temperature outside was 21 degrees.  We stayed warm last night, but the furnace ran almost continuously, and we did burn through some propane.  I’ll need to go get the tank filled tomorrow.  In 14 days, we’ve gone through 2/3 of a tank of propane.  At this point, I don’t know if that’s good or bad.

It’s a sunny day today, and as soon as the sun started hitting the front of the RV, I opened all the drapes and blinds.  I turned the furnace down to 55 degrees, and turned on the little electric heater, on low, at 60 degrees.  With the sun warming the RV, I finally turned the electric heater off as well.

I walked Hemi around 8:00 am, then went back out with the camera around 8:30.  It was still only 24 degrees, way too cold for my old bones to go outside and paint, but I did walk a short distance and took a few photos of trees along the fenceline surrounding the RV park.  We are very much out in the country here.

This will be pretty typical for those days when painting outdoors isn’t an option, or when I want to paint something we’ve seen and recorded in photographs.  The image I’m using for reference here is on the laptop (at right, behind the salt).  It’s one of the photos I took this morning.  The styrofoam plate isn’t my typical palette, but the one I used before was too big to use here.  I may eventually get a new one, but this works.  Like everything else about this enterprise, the workspace will be constangly evaluated to find better ways.  For now, this is a perfectly workable arrangement.

We continue to learn.  Yesterday, I did the sewer dump chore, then, because we expected extra low temperatures overnight, I filled the fresh water tank.  I disconnected the water hose and made sure it was empty, then reconnected it with the water off  at the outside faucet.  That way, we had water, but didn’t run the risk of a frozen water hose.  Again, it’s my most serious intent to not have to worry about things freezing once we get past this winter.

We’ve started trying to educate ourselves about conserving water.  Of course, we should all be doing that, but in a “sticks & bricks” house, it’s so easy to just turn the tap on and let the water run.  We’re trying not to do that.  True, unless we expect below freezing temperatures, we connect and operate off the local water supply.  But there are times when we’ll have to work off the fresh  water tank alone, so we’re starting to pay more attention and doing things a little differently.  One of my personal favorite is only doing dishes once a day.  Now before all you neatniks get all excited, there’s not that much that builds up during the day.  Two coffee cups, a couple of spoons, a breakfast bowl, and a drinking glass.  I generally eat sandwiches for lunch and use a paper towel for a plate.  All the dishes get done after the evening meal.

Of course, none of this is terribly complicated.  It’s just different.

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