It's warm. Today's highs are supposed to be in the 50s. Yesterday with the woodstove going all day, but the warm temperatures outside, it was so hot in my house, I had to open a door. I'm wearing a pair of shorts and a short-sleeved t-shirt. I'll probably let the fire die out today, and perhaps we'll relight it tonight ... if it gets colder. It was so hot last night, I couldn't sleep - even in the coldest room in the house, and I came out to the couch, where I dozed, fitfully, without any covers ... because it was too hot.
Isn't there something very wrong about talking about it being too hot ... in Maine ... in December?
And the grass is still green, too, which makes the fact that this is December and *the* HOLIDAY season a bit difficult for me. My girls are counting down the days (there are twelve, they tell me). Apparently, they aren't having the same difficulty with getting into the spirit that I am. In fact, last night, we pulled out the decorations and strung some fake holly and lights in the front window.
Which is kind of funny, I think. We put a string of electric lights in the front window, and all the while, I've been turning off the electric lights each evening and lighting the wall sconce oil lamps. It's nice sitting in the amber glow of the oil lamplight and knitting (squares for the annual charity blanket project), but now, we've put lights in the window. Lights that require electricity. Sure, we could just not plug them in (and to be sure, I will be VERY selective of when those lights go on ;).
Deus Ex Machina and I have been looking at our numbers. The Riot4Austerity website is gone now, but Deus Ex Machina did some sleuthing and found averages for usage in the categories covered by the Riot's calculator. Our biggest downfall is still consumer spending, and we're still over the 50% mark in that one. Even with our second-hand shopping (and we're very excited about the New2U shop that's going in next door to the dance school :), our numbers are pretty high (I blame it on my job - self-employed, working from home - and our homeschooling ... and for the purposes of calculating our footprint, we've never tried to separate out the work/school stuff from our personal usage :).
That said, we're using less than 1/3 of what the average American uses in every category (even accounting for driving 24 miles to and from the dance school a couple of times per week), except garbage and in that category we're well below 10%.
Of course, now with the holidays and those lights in the window, we may see an increase in our electric usage.
So, to off-set our carbon footprint, this month, it's oil lamplight in the evening and retiring the automatic dishwasher ... and since we can't have the real twinkling lights of the moon reflecting off the snow, maybe the dimly twinkling lights in the window will put me in the mood.
I wonder how long I'd have to ride the bike generator to keep those lights glowing?