Ben’s been getting more enthusiastic about the project…it makes me happy :-) We discussed some planning for the winter, since this morning it was actually chilly. The radiators unfortunately really do not like being turned off, since they’re all connected to one thermostat and not meant to be used independantly. But we’ll mention it to the landlord and see if we can turn off, say, the bathroom one all winter. We’re trying to figure out what the coldest spot in the apartment is for storing root veggies and squash. One problem is that we’re the bottom of a split-level house, so our neighbors’ heat goes up through our walls and gives us random toasty spots. I’m thinking that the suggestion of storing squash under the bed may work well, and we’ll store some in the mud nook. One thing that Ben actually suggested that I had been working up to suggesting was to turn the thermostat all the way down to “uncomfortably cold” for several days and see how that works. I think the best way to do it would be to work our way down to a fixed target over several days, keep it there for 3-7 days, and then work our way slowly back up. I’m hoping that when we stabilize at “comfortable” again, it will be colder than it was before we turned it down. We also need to do some serious weatherstripping of the windows and get our landlord to fix the leaky wall. Would “bubble-glazing” the windows with bubblewrap do any good if they’re already double-paned? I may also commission my sister to make me some fingerless gloves…I’ll spin some cashmere or something toasty like that.
I’ve also been musing a bit on the health benefits of this whole project. I’ve had two surgeries in the past year, essentially the same thing twice. The first was in early March, when I was just beginning to think about changing things to destroy the planet less. I was *miserable* in the hospital, and it took me quite a while to feel really healed. I went back to work after a week, but I wasn’t really ready. The second surgery was in mid-July. I’d been making major changes, especially in adding loads of farm-fresh organic produce to my diet, and ate mainly those vegetables while in the hospital. I actually enjoyed the hospital stay as much as one really can be said to enjoy something like that. The fact that the pain meds were a “good trip” that time probably helped ;-) I was helping weed at the farm only a few days after coming home, and was back at work within a week, and while I took it slow and took some half days, I wasn’t in pain — just tired. I’m guessing that the vegetables and exercise had a lot to do with that.