Oh, the joys of home ownership!

My house

Taken during the December 2009 snowstorm, where about 9-12 inches fell overnight

I own my own home.  Well, I guess to be technical, the bank owns my home and I routinely make payments to them in order to keep my possessions under the roof.  I bought it about six years ago; it’s not that big but it’s great for just me.  It’s about sixty years old, which I love because it has personality.  All the new houses that are built nowadays crack me up–the one tree, artfully placed three feet to the right of the front door and four feet from the curb, the same for every house on the street.  Blah. Boring.  Give me a house that has character, one that has settled into its foundation and is a comfy place to call home.   That’s what I love.

Well, most of the time.

Today I have been doing mundane adult things like balancing my checkbook, getting the stuff together for my taxes, cleaning up my desk, and watching the snow fall outside my window.  It’s lovely–all white and pristine.  I even ventured outside long enough to fill a bowl with fresh snow and make snow cream, something I haven’t had since I was probably about ten years old.  Made the dog get off the back porch and watched her cavort in the snow, which is just a riot.  She loves the stuff.  Hates the rain, but loves the snow.  Once she gets out in it I have to make her come back inside or she’d stay there all afternoon.  Not that big of a deal–normal stuff.  What makes it difficult is that thanks to the twelve (or more) inches of snow that has fallen (and is still falling today) IT IS FREAKIN’ FREEZING IN MY HOUSE!!!

This is where owning an old house isn’t so much fun.  I have all hardwood floors, which I really like.  Only it means that any cold air that is under the house comes right through the floor because there is no carpet or padding for insulation.  I don’t have central air/heat either–I have electronic baseboard heaters in every room.  Normally I love it–I can set the one for the living room at 50 degrees and wear shorts because it stays so toasty warm in here.  But on days like today, and nights like tonight when it is currently only 19 degrees outside, the poor heater just can’t keep up.  Doesn’t help any when I open the front door so that I can get daylight in my east-facing living room.  While I do have a glass screen door, it’s awfully darn drafty when I keep it that way.  I have to decide–warmth or light . . . .  And sometimes it just doesn’t cut it with CF lightbulbs.  Not the same as the real thing!

Now if any of my friends heard me say that I was cold they would immediately call a paramedic.  I have friends that come over in July wearing the same thing that they would wear in November–flannel and sweatshirts.  I like my house cool.  I like my bedroom cold.  (I’m all about sleeping under twelve inches of bedding in order to stay toasty warm–can’t stand a hot room with just a sheet!)  But when the temperature outside gets down to the teens for extended periods like this–a rarity in Virginia, I will admit–the baseboard heaters just cannot keep up.  Not to mention the fact that I don’t think I’ve ever used the one in the kitchen, bathroom, or back bedroom; just the living room/den and my bedroom.  For all I know those are the only two that work even.  But as the thermostat is set on 75 degrees, and the thermometer I have in the other room (without a heater) reads  56.6 degrees, I sit here in slippers, PJs, a sweatshirt, a toasty laptop on my lap (which will be replaced by an afghan as soon as I am done typing and put the computer away) and try to keep my teeth from chattering.

I just need to not any more snow cream, is all.

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