Truth be told, I am scared to death of what this year's heating bill is going to look like. After we moved in last January I was really dismayed to get a $300+ electric bill after only about the first 20 days here. Electric heat is definitely not the way to go so I'm trying real hard not to use it if at all possible. Rumor has it ceramic heaters work really, really well so I may have to get me one or two. After all, 110 costs a lot less than 220 to use when it comes to voltage!
While on the subject of heat, we have a lovely fireplace in the living room that Amanda would really like to use though I'm not sure how much heat it will produce. When we moved in I asked my landlady if it was a working fireplace and she said that it should be but that it might be a good idea to have it cleaned out first as the tenants before me never used it at all. I guess that means I should call and see what a chimney sweep charges before trying to light a fire and smoking out the place! I must say that the idea of having a crackling fire at Christmas time is awfully darned appealing!
Speaking of Christmas, now that we have a nice big living room along with that fireplace Amanda is insisting on a full-size real tree this year - something that we haven't had in years. I have boxes and boxes of Christmas ornaments that I've not touched the past five years or so due to space limitations at my previous humble abode and I think Amanda is right in that it's time to break them out this year and deck the halls like I used to do. Of course, I may have to buy some new lights and a tree stand but that shouldn't be an issue. Hmm, maybe we'll even go out to a local tree farm and cut down a fresh tree - think of the photo opps!
As for Amanda, she's been out of school since last Friday with a sore throat and a couple other mild complaints that I don't think equal the flu but I'll be taking her to the doctor today to have her checked out "just in case". I'm more concerned that she might have strep throat (something that runs in my family a lot) or borderline bronchitis. She's only got a bit of a cough but it's starting to sound more like barking and she said her lungs hurt afterward.
She'll be going to see a new doctor as her pediatrician whom she'd had for a long time told me that they no longer consider her a patient as she hadn't been to see her in several years. Amanda had her last physical at the school-based health center and had no need to go see a doctor but I guess if you're not sick every once in awhile you get dropped from this particular doctor's practice. Luckily I had no problems getting her primary care physician changed through her health care provider and we'll be going to see the new doctor for her throat but it definitely caused a delay in getting her seen. Fingers crossed that it's nothing that will cause her to miss a lot more school time.
Speaking of school, Amanda and I will be taking a drive up to Beverly, Massachusetts on December 5th to check out the Montserrat Art College at an Open House for prospective students. She'll also be having a portfolio review done at the same time, something that is very important for artists like herself. Montserrat offers portfolio-based scholarships and if Amanda is going to actually be able to attend an art college that's something she could really use as otherwise she's going to be in debt up to her eyeballs in student loans by the time she's finished. Something she may very well be anyway as college isn't something I can actually afford without moving myself into a cardboard box by the side of the street!
Oh, and before I wrap this up I wanted to share something that my blogging friend extraordinaire on the West Coast - Jamie - sent me the other day. The email read -
"In the process of doing some other research, got hit by a resemblance. I know Amanda is into Poe and other denizens of Massachusetts, but have you ever noticed among the well known how much she looks like Louisa May Alcott .... good dress up for next Halloween. In addition to the sweet kid stuff she did write some pretty adventureous and ghost filled other items."After placing the picture from the link that Jamie sent me side-by-side with a picture of Amanda I'd have to say that there is most definitely a bit of a resemblance there:
Ah well, while I ponder the possibilities I hope you have a great Tuesday wherever you may be!