Tag Archives: house

Energy audit

Light over the Pacific ocean
Light over the Pacific ocean.

We had an energy audit done on our house – have you heard of those? It’s free in a good number of states, you just call your power company and ask about it (may have to google it otherwise). What a great thing to do. They come in and walk through your house and tell you where you are losing money, and how to fix it. And then they tell you what all the power company, state and federal rebates are if you decide to make your house more efficient.

So not only is it free, but it saves you money. And then they give you stuff. He left us some parts to put on our faucets so that we don’t waste as much money. He offered to put them on, but we could do it ourselves so we did. We haven’t noticed a difference yet, so there you go. Cool savings right there. We haven’t put the shower head on yet, but we probably will at least try it.

In our case, our guy noticed there was something seriously wrong with our furnace. We knew our furnace was fairly old, and kinda hacked together, but it seemed to work well. Turns out it is spewing lots of carbon monoxide into our house, which might explain some of the things that Brian and I have been talking about with our behavior changes. Energy audit indeed! Yikes!

So we had a furnace guy in yesterday who was really neat (I swear to god it was a Monty Python. It had to have been. He rides motorcycles with cats for god’s sake. He had this voice that projected so beautifully – he should look into being a voice talent if nothing else). He tightened some things and cleaned some stuff out, and told us that our furnace has never, ever been serviced. Uh…..

He said that our furnace will now be much more efficient (we could tell instantly) and that he wishes we had called him in the fall so he could have saved us more money over winter. There’s another guy coming on Monday to deal with the carbon monoxide problem, so right now we are clutching our carbon monoxide tester in our bedroom and hoping furiously that a $39 piece of plastic actually works in case the carbon monoxide decides to pool.

In any event, all that was spawned by trying to make our house more efficient and less taxing on the environment. Also cheaper. Recommend having it done, very very highly.

Odd facts about our house.

Glass doorknob with skeleton keyhole.

When I was a kid, I had a Dr. Seuss book called My Book about Me that you filled in with facts about yourself, your house, your neighbors and friends. A neat book, still in print, go get it for your nieces, nephews, sons and daughters. I still have mine, all filled in.

One of the things it had in it were spots for things like how many forks you have in your house. Or light switches.

So this kinda reminds me of that, but I just counted, out of curiosity: the lower level of our house has eleven interior doors, not counting the folding ones leading to the sunroom. It also has two exterior doors, not counting the two once you are in the mudroom leading to the back. Most of the interior doors have glass door knobs and skeleton keys to lock them. Yes, we have the skeleton keys, and yes, they work. I kept our spooky basement locked the entire time that Brian was at his Dad’s in northern Wisconsin. Why risk the boogie man? C’mon!

Curious and curiouser

Heh, Brian is on the phone with our insurance agent, and I just heard him describe our new home as a “curious house.”

It really is, it seems like a house that you could get to Narnia from one of the little doors or crawl spaces or hidden nooks. Some houses that have strange turns and entries are creepy, but ours is interesting and comforting somehow.

I can tell most of my posts on here are likely to be dreaming about the house until we are finally in it.

Only other interesting thing right now is that I’m going to go get dinner with my former babysitter. Yeah, obviously not someone I hired to watch a child, but someone who was hired to watch me. Laurie and I have figured out that it’s been about 30 years since we’ve seen each other. I can’t wait to hear what she’s been doing. When I was a teenager, my family stayed at her mom’s house, and I copied all of her cassette tapes. I was “in” with all the new music I found, it was great.


Pictures soon, I promise.

I was going to write up the adventures we had with Gretchen, Jay and the kids, but I’m going to wait on that in favor of other things.

Specifically, the news that Brian and I put an offer on a house in Portland, and it was accepted! We will be moving exactly 14 blocks closer to downtown. YAY! The house is completely lovely, and about $9,000 more than we said we wanted to spend, but we’ll make up for that by loving the house even more.

We completely had expected to find a fixer-upper, and we didn’t mind that. Brian and I have worked on so many houses together at this point, it’s kind of in our blood to be fixing things (yet another reason renting has been hard). However, the place we bought is lovely inside, and entirely wood floors. It’s way too big for the two of us, but with the amount of out-of-state guests we have, it’ll be completely fine, I think. It has a nice private backyard, and a lovely sunroom, and they’ve preserved the original coal chute with some coal in it because they thought it was cool, and root cellar. I’ve always wanted a root cellar. Can anyone chime in here and let me know how to use one?

Now, I’m packing like a madwoman (Brian is swamped with work, so I’ve offered to do the packing) and thinking that perhaps now that we have a house on the way, maaaaaybe I should get around to getting a job. Heh. If anyone has suggestions on that, pipe up, please!

The only other thing I wanted to mention today is that marionberries are finally in the grocery stores, so I splurged on some today. I’m not sure that they are going to make it until tonight. Marionberries are like much better blackberries for those of you who haven’t been lucky enough to try some before. They are amazing and my favorite berry, right up there with Oregonian strawberries.

To bring me even further back to my childhood, Tillamook’s limited flavor right now is Bubble Gum ice cream. Brian had never heard of such a thing, so was this only a west coast phenomena in the 70s? Whether in California, Washington, Nevada or Oregon, I always ordered it in any ice cream shop. Then, it was filled with those round bubble gums that you only seem to get in candy machines at a grocery store. You’d suck all the ice cream from around the gum, and then spit the gum unchewed onto a napkin. Then, at the end, you’d gather all the gumballs up and chew on them, in a huge wad of gum that’d make your jaws ache. A terrible idea, truly. However as a kid, it was the best thing ever because not only did you get ice cream, but you’d follow up with candy! How perfect could life be? Sadly, Tillamook went with just flavoring from what I understand, so no gum chewing for me.

Life is good.