Friday, December 3, 2010

Getting ready for winter

It is Saturday morning and Tetsu is outside changing the tires of my car. Snow tires for the winter. I am not a great driver to begin with and when it snows or is icy I stay home! Some winters the streets will freeze over during the night but by the time I get out and around everything will have thawed. This year I realize that I will need to be at the crosswalk by 7:30 every morning while the roads are still frozen. Gulp. Even with snow tires this may prove to be a challenge but if I should get caught WITHOUT snow tires I will slide off into the forest. Thus I asked Tetsu to change my tires early. The weather isn't forecast for snow yet (usually in January) but I want to make sure!

Winter is not my favorite time of year. I'm going to grumble today and winter has barely started! For one, I HATE our kerosene heater! The whole process of pumping kerosene into the tank from the outside tanks is messy, smelly and cold. It seems like every other year we have to buy another heater because the old one doesn't work for some reason. I'm sure it must be something like it needs to be dismantled and cleaned or something but when one is talking about flammables and explosives I sure don't want to take chances. So we buy heaters. Sometimes ones with large tanks which means that they are hard on the back when you have to carry the full tanks back in the house. Sometimes heaters with small tanks and that means that the dang things need to be refilled about once a day. What a bore! I also don't think breathing in all this kerosene burned air can be good for you but I've lived with it for more than 30 years so I guess it isn't THAT bad. And buying the dumb kerosene to begin with is a chore because I have to lug 20 liter tanks (two or three at a time) to the gasoline station or the home goods store and get them filled. Talk about being bad on the back!!! (Yes, it is possible to have kerosene delivered but that costs quite a bit more...)

Okay. That's why I don't like kerosene heaters. Another reason is because, of course, you have to turn the heaters off during the night or when we go out. In emergencies (earthquakes) they need to be turned off fast. So at night we sleep in icy rooms! Every winter I complain to Tetsu that I don't think our house has insulation. A room COULDN'T be this cold if the walls were insulated. His comment is "Well, what do you want to do? Tear down the wall to find out? Put out more quilts."

So we snuggle deep in long underwear, fleece pajamas, socks, neck warmers, flannel sheets, down comforters, boa blankets, and hand made quilts. I usually have a cat or two under the covers too and one or two on top of all that (they have their preferences). Either I'm freezing or feel like I'm suffocating!

And watch me race downstairs and change clothes in front of our one heater in the living room. The cats and I vie for heat space! Chip beat me to it this morning and she has taken up residence on the electric carpet too.

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