Sunday, May 22, 2016

Hmm, maybe I do understand why my electric bill is so high.

I prided myself on keeping my average electric bill under $100.  Which is a miracle in Phoenix, Arizona.

Then they changed out my meter.

Turns out, the meter was under-reporting my usage.  The charges are re-evaluated quarterly.  First it went up to $112, then $133. And this was before I even turned on the air conditioner.

I thought to myself, what the heck could be using all that electricity?  Nothing is running.

Well, let's define nothing. These items are on all-day, every day.

4 cordless telephones and an answering machine.
The clock on the stove.
The clock on the microwave.
The refrigerator.
An instant-on television.
A Chromecast.
An Amazon Fire Stick.
A Wi-Fi Extender
7 smoke alarms
A computer hosting my doggy cams
7 doggy cams
A modem/router
2 computer monitors I let sleep, but never turn off.
An electric water heater
A water recirc pump
An electric toothbrush charger
3 tool chargers

Plus items that are on daily, but not all day:
2 cellphone chargers
2 floor fans
3 ceiling fans

I think I'm lucky my bill isn't even higher.

And maybe I need a few less electronics.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Hoarding - the good kind

I grew up with a hoarder.  My dad had an office where he wrote that had stacks and stacks of books, magazines, and newspaper piled everywhere.  One summer I was even paid to go through a couple newspaper stacks and cut out articles on para-phenomena and throw the newspaper away.

At home, the clutter was restricted to the basement, and his home office.  So I really didn't realize how bad the problem was.

Until he and my mom divorced.

Without my mom's constant attendance, the clutter expanded.  When my brother came back from New York for a family reunion, he was so appalled that he paid to have my dad's place cleaned up.

But it didn't last.

When my dad died, every room in the house, the garage, and the basement, was full of stuff.  There was a path from the front door to the kitchen and to the bedroom.  He ate at a tiny corner of the dining room table.  The rest of it was piled high with papers.

So I was reluctant to admit that I am a bit of a hoarder myself.

I have gotten tired of finding a piece of clothing I like, have it wear out, and never, ever find it again.

So when I find the perfect bra, I buy several and store them away.  Socks that fit and are comfortable.  Buy a bunch of those.

The perfect jeans?  Well, those are kind of expensive, so I don't stockpile those.  But I'll buy one more pair than I need.

My biggest fear was that this behavior was leading me onto the path of the hoarder.

Then I discovered that my sister does this, too.  Now she comes from the same shaky family tree so that was only sort of comforting.

But when my best friend said that she does it too, I felt such a relief.

I'm not a hoarder.

I'm being proactive.