Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday Tidbits

Mother Nature has been very nice to us here in Connecticut the past couple of days by giving us the gift of some really nice weather before Old Man Winter permanently shoulders himself onto the scene. Yesterday it was actually warmer outside than it was in the house so I opened a lot of windows to let the sunshine and natural warmth in.  What a treat - particularly after the really chilly days we've had already!

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:

Amanda has pronounced it as somewhat creepy but I think it's kinda cool! Perhaps Louisa has chosen to come back as an illustrator this go-round rather than as an author!  Perhaps there are outside forces (cue Twilight Zone music here) that want Amanda to go to college in Massachusetts!  Hmm ... !!

Ah well, while I ponder the possibilities I hope you have a great Tuesday wherever you may be!


  1. Blurghh to heating bills, that is rather shitty :(

    Hooray to real fires, should be pretty good, if it works properly.

    No employing small children to clean it, that is frowned upon these days.

    Hooray for real xmas tree, even though I am a miserable sod at xmas times.

    I think Amandy does look like Louisa and I think the art college thing sounds cool!

    Amanda is lucky to have a mum that feeds her creative side, she should be a happy bunny indeed! I know she will successful in whatever artistic genre she decides to go into.

  2. My move to the Swamp means that I'll be losing my fireplace, probably my biggest negative because I really love a nice cozy fire in the winters.

    One of my sisters lives and teaches in Beverly, but not at Montserrat. She's a Special Needs teacher - a para-professional, mostly to children in the Autism Spectrum. I also have a nephew who teaches Music in Salem (yes, at Witchcraft Elementary, actually). His wife is an artist and an Art Teacher.

    I'm so glad Amanda is going to Art college. She definitely has oooodles of talent!

    Big Hugs ♥xo

  3. We have gas logs in our fireplace to avoid all the mess but still have the ambiance. Not quite the same as the crackling real deal, but a whole lot cleaner.

    We'll keep our fingers crossed on a scholarship! And yes, the resemblance is definitely there with LMA!

    Enjoy your day...we have rain. Big hugs...

  4. well??

    was is the plague?

  5. I'd love to have a fire in our fireplace, but you just can't here. The fireplace police would be knocking at our door. California sucks.

    Amanda needs that Christmas tree. Just saying.

    They do look a lot alike too. Awesome.

    Have a terrific day. Big hug. :)

  6. We're having some gorgeous weather as well over here in northern Ontario and I'm so loving it. Actually have the doors open which is usually unheard of at this time of year!!

    I know what you mean about the heating bill...we have oil and it costs a small fortune in the Winter time. I think you should look into getting your fireplace ready to use, it's amazing how much it can heat up a house. I love my little electric fireplace:-)

    Last year was the first time I ever got a real Christmas tree and I loved it so I'm going to get another one this year. It will be so much fun for you to be able to take out all of your decorations again!!

    Oh dear, I do hope Amanda is feeling much better by now. With all the colds and flus going around it's no fun at all.

    Omigosh...there really is a resemblance between Amanda and Louisa May Alcott! The shape of the face, the chin, the nose, the lips...wowwww!!!

    Have a great week my friend. xoxo

  7. All fuel bills here are atronomically high! We may have to wear extra layers, gloves, hats and scarves this winter! :(

  8. A remarkable likeness between Louisa and Amanda. A great picture.

  9. Now you know why people used to seal off whole portions of houses during winter and only attempt to heat two or three rooms. Love the side by side comparison with LMA, it really brings the resemblance home. Amanda definitely deserves a scholarship.

  10. we used those ceramic heaters from walmart in the bathrooms in podunk. they worked really good! that house never got warm, didn't have much insulation.

    i think amanda and louisa look so cute together!

    smiles, bee

  11. I'm really going to keep all of my fingers crossed for Amanda to get to the art college. Too cool! :o)
    P.S. You gotta deck the halls this christmas and have the FP working!

  12. Sandee voiced what I was thinking. Around here, if you light your fireplace on a "No Fire" day, you actually get fined. The rotten thing about it is the fact that people are told to rat out their neighbors. That'll be the day. I'm a third generation Californian, and I couldn't be any angrier at our politicos. They suck, for certain!
    I'm glad Amanda is going to pursue her art! I wish I had done something with my life like that.
    Scholarship, please!!!
    p.s. I'm sorry I sounded so snarky in my comments below.

  13. Darn, I was blithering and forgot to THANK YOU for your service in the military!!!

  14. Wow, Amanda and Louisa do resemble each other. Or should I saw Amanda resembles what Louisa once looked like.

    I'm hoping our new furnace will be much more efficient and our heating bills won't be astronomical this year. ugh

    Yes, a chimney sweep would be a good idea before starting up any fires in the fireplace.

    I hope Amanda feels better. Maybe you mentioned it in today's post. Will go see.

  15. We have all electric in our apt, and the heat really doesnt run the bill up any more than the air conditioner does. Unless you buy a big space heater and sit in front of it you are probably wasting your time on them I love a wood burning fireplace, but I doubt you will get much heat from it. Be sure and have it cleaned before you use it because they can start a fire and make sure you open the flu before you light the match. My daughter used hers for the first time (and didn't know to do that) and smoke up the entire house last year.

    Tell Amanda good luck on the collage and that I hope she feels better soon. I love the photo comparison.


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