Hands In My Pocket

I feel like I should write a country music song . . too many hands in my pocket! :)  I told Vince this afternoon that I feel like our bucket has too many holes in it!

I was outside when the appliance repair folks called to tell me that the repair bill on the washer is pretty steep and I told them we’d buy a new washer/dryer instead of fixing the old one.  As I was walking into the house to look online at the washer and dryer they recommended, I looked to my left and the gate/fence guy was over installing another gate.

He’s been here at least two weeks and isn’t done yet.  The big gate at front has taken a lot of time.  He would have gotten it all hooked up today but there’s a bad board in the gate opener so that’s on hold til the middle of next week.  We’re adding a gate behind the bantam coop and another gate behind the house.  I’m sure he’ll be here at least through the first half of next week.

Then I looked to the right and the guy was here filling the propane tanks.

Having both tanks full is like money in the bank but it is kinda painful at the time they’re filled.

This afternoon I missed a call from my doctor after my “annual” on Tuesday.  He left a message and said “We need to talk .  . nothing bad . . it’s about your cholesterol, thyroid and Vitamin D levels.”  I’m already taking meds for all three but I guess something isn’t right.  If the thyroid levels are low, that will explain why I’m so tired . . I just thought I’d been working extra hard.  I’ve been in bed by 8 or 8:30 almost every night it seems.  Not sure if I’ll talk to the doctor tomorrow or Monday.  I told Vince and he said “at least only three things are wrong” and I told him I thought they only checked three things!

I’m going to sit and knit and hope that we can at least make it til bed time without spending half our life savings!  :)

Magazine Subscriptions

For those who get tired of the clutter and paper around, my preferred method for getting magazines now is to get the digital versions.  I love being able to pull up a quilt magazine anywhere that I have internet access and look at it on the laptop or ipad, or even on the phone if I’m in a quilt shop and needing to know something about a pattern I might want to make.

This is the link for Quiltmaker’s digital subscription.  You can go there and view a sample and see what it would look like on your computer or tablet or phone.

Other magazines probably have the same option but Quiltmaker is the one I’m most familiar with (and besides, I emailed the editor yesterday and she sent me the link!)

Fuel for Cooking

It will not surprise anyone that we wanted to make sure we have plenty of fuel on hand for cooking.  The  “gas” stove that I love actually runs on liquid propane (LP).  We also have gas heat and a gas water heater.  There was a 250 gallon propane tank here when we bought the place.  That amount of fuel lasts us about a year, even with the amount of cooking/canning I do.  We don’t use much heat though.  We had talked about getting a 500 gallon tank, which would provide about a 2 year supply of fuel.  Then we decided not to do it but apparently “we” decided to go with the 500 gallon tank.  Yesterday the gas company called me to tell me they were ready to deliver our new tank.  I called Vince and he said yes, he thought it was a good idea and the cost of propane was very low so he wanted to get the tanks filled while the cost was down.

Vince was home for lunch when the propane guy got here.  A decision was made to move the old tank to one side of the well house (just around the corner from where it had been).  The old tank will be connected to a propane generator for the well and to a gas grill.  That tank may never need to be filled again!  :)

The new tank was moved from the truck to the new location.

This guy was meticulous.  No setting the legs on rocks and hoping for the best.  He had concrete blocks and he dug and leveled and measured and made sure everything was right where it should be.

All set up and waiting to be filled.

The old tank needs to be painted and Vince said he will do that.  You can see the sun is going down.  It was an all afternoon process.  With both tanks filled, we will feel a lot more comfortable about our fuel supply.  The price of the propane was about 80¢ per gallon less than it was the last time we had the tank filled so by filling 750 gallons at the current cost, we are saving almost $600 over what it would have cost to fill both those tanks a year ago.  When the big tank gets at least half empty, we’ll start watching the cost of LP and fill the tank again when/if the price drops.  With the tank half full, we’ll still have a year to “shop” the cost of the LP before we have to get it filled.

Not everyone is able to have a propane tank in their yard (probably not everyone would even want to) but that’s another reason we wanted to live in the country.  Our fuel is bought and paid for . . almost like money in the bank.  It’s completely under our control as long as there’s propane in the tank.

Speaking of “owning the power”, when I was talking about my frowny face on the electric bill and several mentioned solar panels, the cost/benefit just doesn’t make it worthwhile for us yet.  We pay very low electric rates.  It would take at least seven years, based on the rates we pay, for us to break even.  For those living in places like California, where your rates are much higher, you break even at a much quicker rate.  Solar panels are easily damaged by hail and we live in an area where hail is often a problem.  My Honda is evidence!  Our insurance has a very high deductible for solar panel damage.  For now, solar isn’t a cost effective option for us.  Except during July through September, our electric bills are less than $100.  And, our water and sewer are basically free!  Not a bad place to be, huh?

Today the propane guy will come back to fill both tanks, the guy is here on the bull dozer working on some lanes through the woods and the gate may be installed today.  Another busy day here.  It’s fun watching the changes and planning for the future.