I love my new life and my new home. This building is great, with only a couple of issues. Neighbors. I was used to living in a little house. On its own little piece of property. With neighbors who could do whatever they liked in their own space and no one would ever know. With really great insulation, tight windows and doors and a fabulous, energy-efficient heating system.
Now I get to live intimately with the goings-on of other people. Not exactly strangers, but, well, you know. So far none of them seem to be drug dealers, petty thieves. As much as I can tell, there is not a meth lab within blocks. So, except for the teenagers in the back flat who need to play guitar at midnight and who paint sprayed their bookcases and covered my car with white overspray, my neighbors are just fine, thank you very much. Seriously, I am so grateful.
The exterior and interior spaces here are nice, although I lost some housekeeping ground during the long period that I have been ill. I digress, but today, after feeling fairly normal for a few days, my throat is ragged again, I am sneezing like crazy and I am in serious need of a nap. Perhaps tomorrow.
So, anyway, the place has been restored nicely, but the supposedly energy-saving windows leak like crazy. I have not been able to find any tape that will not adversely affect the painted...and quite lovely...window frames, so I have plastic bags stuffed in between the indoor sashes and the outside glass panels.
I have put as much weatherstripping around the door as possible and still allow it to actually close. Where I cannot do that, you can see daylight along the edges. Towels are carefully held in place whilst I close the door without pinching any flesh in the process. Next, I place a very large cardboard box that some of my shelving came in straight up against the door, with a box of printer paper to hold it close. I bought some plastic, but, again, cannot find tape to hold it in place. I had thought that I would hang this heavy plastic from the top of the door frame and push a bench against it, but that is not working out at all.
I have been anticipating my heating bill. Trepidation. Fear. Loathing. Apprehension. More fear. Mostly because it has been so freakishly cold and I have had to raise the thermostat from 55F to 58F, with several memorable days of thirty degrees below zero, when I had to crank that baby up to 60F.
It came today, that bill. Those 3 to 5 degrees, for only half of the previous thirty days tripled that damn bill.
Tripled. Three times what it was.
I turned the temp down to 55F when the outside temps were above zero a few days ago. Clearly, raising the heat level was a mistake, but we were so freaking cold all the time. I was worried about CoolCat, especially when I had to be out of the house and was not able to have him near me, both of us covered with blankets.
No matter what happens weather-temperature-wise, that thermostat is staying right where it is. Damn.
I did get a small space heater for the bathroom. That tiny room is on an outside wall, underneath the stairway to the upstairs flat. No insulation and no heating vent. There was one day when I could see my breath in there.
Anyway, I have stopped unpacking my stuff, because if next month's heating bill is high like this current one, I am going to have to look for another place to live. I can only imagine what the bill would be if I used any lights. Suddenly, never turning on any lights has turned out to be equal parts stupefying fear and frugality.
I am trying so hard to stop swearing all the time, particularly in print. Fortunately, no one else can hear the nearly constant stream of profanity in my head. Small favors.