A burst of productivity for the new year

January saw me racing through a bunch of things on my list, especially during the week I had hoped to spend with my parents, but had to postpone, because COVID. Part of it was giving myself permission to not worry about the writing. Part of it was if I didn’t get it done I knew it was only going to get worse.

Like the old boiler that was trying to kill me. A new energy-efficient, non-CO-spewing combi-boiler was installed at the beginning of the month. (Thanks, NYSERDA! Seriously, that commie socialist government program helped a lot.) Living with it is a bit different. One, my gas bill is noticeably lower. Two, instead of keeping water heated and standing by, it only heats it as I use it. Water takes a little longer to get hot, and it never gets hotter than the temperature it’s set at. The shower has less pressure because there’s less water flowing, and I also turn it all the way to HOT pretty much immediately and can’t nudge it any hotter even if I want to — at least, not without running down to the basement and setting a new temperature. On the plus side, I never run out of hot water.

I’ve been tempted to put the temp up a little because I am a fan of long hot showers (a lot of writers will tell you they get great ideas in the shower), but I’m resisting because the whole point of this change is to conserve resources.

In order to prep for the boiler and the new basement insulation included in the project, I cleaned and semi-organized the basement. I had not cleaned the basement since moving into this house in 2014. Tidied, yes; cleaned, no. (Feel for that poor vacuum cleaner!)

I tossed a lot of stuff. But since I’ve lost weight after going low carb, I was glad I hadn’t taken some of the old donation bags to a thrift store yet, because now I can wear some of that stuff again and instead get rid of fat clothes. Once in a while procrastination is our friend.

It certainly benefited my spare room library redecoration: I found uses for bookshelves, rugs, baskets, a rocking chair, an ottoman, a mirror, some frames, etc. It also enabled me to reorganize my office closet.

Once in a while a pack rat mentality actually does save some money.

Of course, there’s more to get rid of. I’m deciding between Facebook Marketplace or the Habitat ReStore for the stuff that still has some use, but I haven’t decided yet. (From what I hear, selling stuff on Facebook can be a miserable experience. Any thoughts?)

I bought a newer used car and said goodbye to the old Subaru. I somehow thought I was buying a smaller car, at least until I tried to get the RAV4 in the garage and clean the windshield. Oops. But I’m not listening anxiously to the engine for intimations of imminent disaster every time I drive this one, and that was my primary goal.

Penny the cat and I both got through dental work. Now I need to do something about these old glasses I reverted to during the pandemic because the more fashionable pair broke. My last experience trying to get a pair was so miserable, I’ve been putting it off. There’s also a part of me that thinks I should just wait until cataract surgery, but apparently I’ve got a ways to go.

As for writing? I joined a mini TikTok course. So far, it’s striking me as a needless distraction from what I really need to do. (Especially since most of my new followers each day are generic guys declaring that they’re honest, godly, and good. The same ones as on Facebook and Instagram, only the quantities are on steroids.)

Less than one day of new followers. Cowboy1634 is my favorite for that subtle touch of the wad of bills, but I appreciate shirtless Eric, too.

While I may continue to figure out TikTok, I’ve decided February is going to be Mailing List Month. That’s been hanging over my head only for, like, years now.

Part of that will require deciding on a regular blog post day that isn’t simply the last possible day of the month, which has actually been working pretty well for me. Or giving up the blog and only doing the mailing list. If you have a preference, O rare blog reader, let me know.

February is also Starting to Write the Next Book Month.

Soon needed is Haul Out and Lubricate the Sewing Machine and Finish the Window Treatments Month, but I’m not adding it to the list yet. February is too short for that.

Anyway, here’s a very fast look my spare room redecoration into a library/pantry/inflatable mattress guest room, if you’re interested: https://vm.tiktok.com/TTPdhcK2RW/

One of the things I noticed while setting it up is that I’ve become such a big library reader (and also often an e-book reader), that very few of the books I’ve loved in the last few years have actually made it onto the shelves here. Instead, there are old favorites that survived the last move, plus shelves of books I haven’t gotten around to yet … because unlike books I own, library books have due dates.

So, apparently, deadlines really do help.

COMMENTS / QUESTIONS / CONCERNS?