Friday, February 20, 2009

Good things come in small packages

My tile came today! yippee! There it is, in four small boxes. Wow. It's so beautiful!!! Unfortunately it's late at night and dark and the flash and the 60w bulbs don't do it justice. I'll try to see if I can get better color tomorrow during the day. Needless to say the color is a lot less avocado and a lot more fluorescent - as in - my favorite color green! And the blogger image isn't as good as the photoshop image anyway.
It was a very long and somewhat productive day, finishing up at Home Depot (doin' my part for the economy, as usual) and Trader Joe's. At Home Depot I picked up a lot of paint swatches because I really need to decide what color to make the bathroom - although, I'm leaning towards plain white to set off the tiles and the wood.
Then again, doesn't that aubergine look beautiful with the green tile? (sigh) I just think that's a bit much with the blue wall and the orange hallway… oo - maybe I could make the ceiling that color?! Wow that would be something…

So, yes, I went to Home Depot today to see what I could see. I wanted:
foam for the basement(I'll explain shortly)
staples for the staple gun
molding for the second floor door
and I wanted to inform myself about fridges and washers and dryers.

Okay fine. Picked up foam and staples and went to check out the appliances. I found the fridge I want, upside down, white, with a funny freezer on the bottom. (There's a door that opens instead of a drawer.) It's smaller, only 20cu.ft. but I think that's okay - I'm actually surprised at how often my fridge is empty. I think this is a good thing - it means I'm not being to wasteful with food and I eat what I purchase. Good. While I was looking for the fridge, I found almost the same model my grandmother had! Upside down (freezer on the bottom). It's too bad it's only 10cu.ft., which works well in Germany for retired people who can go to the market everyday to pick up fresh food, but I don't think would work well for me after a while. It's still as cute as ever, and the freezer is a bit more convenient with three drawers rather than one drawer and a tray. Hmm.
I also asked about washer/dryers - and the turquoise one's I want are good. :) I might just get them. If I open a Home Depot charge card I can save 10%. This would be very good.

Now, if good things come in small packages, do bad things come in big packages?

I had someone come out and do an environmental audit of my house. After my $783.- heating bill last month - something had to be done. Lee the fabulous electrician recommended Joe - the fabulous sustainable environmentalist, who audits people's houses for a living and gives recommendations on what to do to fix things. He's also the first person who has really explained what "tightening" up a house means! I get it now. But it also makes me want to curl up on the floor and cry my eyes out. It means so much work. :(
Basically what we want is less air flow in the house. Now I know what a drafty "West Philly" house means because I have one! The house will be more efficient when I block off all the leaks of cold air into the house - which basically equals the warm air out of the house. So in addition to putting the fiberglass in the basement, I now have to use that horrible spray foam. The foam needs to go between the edge of the floor and the wall of the house. Because there is a gap in the walls that allows (even at 1") enough cold air in the basement to flow through the walls that they are cold. Thus, all of the spray foam at Home Depot. So maybe I'll get to that this weekend. But the other things that need to be done (so far) are to spray fibercell into the walls, once the spray foam is done. This can be done by poking a small hole in the wall and spraying the stuff in. Good. I also have to spray insulation into the attic crawl space. So far that's all I know. Joe has to come back next Friday to do the rest of the audit. This involves putting up a big fan and measuring the volume of the house and the difference in air flow in and out of the house. Sounds like complicated math to me. At any rate - the bottom line seams to be - I have a ton of work ahead of me to get this house tightened up so that that ridiculous heating bill comes down.

On that note. I think Jacques is cold. Poor baby. He's been very very cuddly lately, and tonight especially, sitting on my shins just didn't seem to be doing it. He decided a better spot was between me and the chair. I'm fine with this arrangement too - he's very warm.

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