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Home > Halfway through summer with no A/C, cancelled cable!!

Halfway through summer with no A/C, cancelled cable!!

July 8th, 2011 at 05:29 am

We've had a few uncomfortable days, but so far, I haven't felt like dragging a very heavy AC down the narrow attic stairs.

I've made use of 3 ceiling fans and 2 large floor fans but on some days, it's just like blowing hot air around.

I've tried putting a pot of ice in front of the blowing fan but haven't noticed any difference.

I'm in the next phase of the nutrition study. This week and next, the only thing I have to do is make sure I eat 54 grams of protein daily. To do that, I still find I need to write down the protein content of each meal, but it's easier than recording everything I eat, period.

So I have a 2-week period relatively free. Still not done editing that book, but it's sounding more and more like she needs to earn money to pay me, so while she didn't say "stop," or "I can't pay you right away," that's sort of what it sounds like. So no use rushing through that. I'm not quite at the two-thirds mark in the book,and I don't intend to send her the second 100 pages edited until she makes the next payment.

So, it looks like I may head down to Jersey shore to visit with my dad next Wed/Thurs. The temps will be in the 80s with little chance of rain and tolerable humidity (considering it's summer).

I've been trying to get a hold of him but with his vision problems, he doesn't see the digital message indicator on his phone, so I need to try to catch him when he's home.

My mother's having some serious pain problems with what she thinks is arthritis in neck, shoulder, hip. She says it's extremely painful getting in and out of bed. It all got a lot worse after she saw a chiropractor that a friend highly recommended. The pain meds she got aren't working at all, and the 2 docs she trusts are fully booked til September, so she's waiting to hear back from a nurse with one of them. It sounds like a pretty intolerable situation and I'm a little worried about heading down to Jersey for even the 2 days I'm planning if she's still in bad shape. Not that there's much I can do.

Recently I've been noticing a funny rattling noise coming from a rear tire of my car. Don't know if it's a shock or something else, but I'm pretty sure it's not the brakes. I'm bringing it in to the Honda dealer later this morning. (I can use my AAA membership to get a 10% discount on repairs there.) I hope it's not a humongous expense, but with lots of 1.5 hour trips to UConn coming up, I have to make sure it's safe and in working order.

Oh, yeah, I sort of inadvertently cancelled my cable but I'm not undoing it, at least right away! I got a bill from them for $30. Up til now, I was paying $13, a promo price they gave me last time I called to cancel. (I've found that if you calmly tell them you'd like to cancel and once you let them know it's due to cost, they'll usually come up with a better price for you.) So after some investigation, she said she could give me a rate of $20, but not the $13 I'd been enjoying for the past 6 months or so. Just on impulse, I dug in my heels and said no, I'll only keep it if you can give me the $13 rate. Well, they couldn't, so I just let them cancel it.

That was on Tuesday, and I still have TV. Hmmm, what's going on? Each day I turn it on and wonder how much longer I'll have it. I'm a little fearful as I will DEFINITELY miss being able to watch the news, both over morning breakfast and in the evening, plus I'm a big reality TV fan (American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, America's Next Top Model, The Bachelorette are my regular must-sees).

But it's hard to justify even cheap cable when you've been mostly unemployed for 1.75 years. So I'm gonna try doing without. It will be hard, but there's Hulu, and I guess I'll just have to get back in the habit of listening to public radio again.

Not much else new. Yesterday I spent some time pruning out dead wood in assorted mountain laurel, dogwood and viburnum on my property. Now I have another pile of brush I'll have to squeeze into the Honda for the landfill. I hate to just throw the larger branches out in back or on the sides of the property because they take forever to break down.

I see my Bibb lettuce is starting to bolt, but I'm still eating it; it's not bitter yet. Also started harvesting some yellow wax beans. There are a fair amount of small green tomatoes on the vine, but I also see the dreaded fungus thing tomato plants often get. That's because I allowed lower branches of the plant to touch the ground, and when it rains, it allows these fungal spores to splash up on the leaves, and that's how it starts. I was remiss in not putting hay down around the plants much sooner. Now all I can do is cut away those yellowed branches with mottled spots. It will eventually kill the plant. There was that one spring 2 or 3 years ago when that disease took off really early in the spring due to wet cool weather, and no one had tomatoes that year in the Northeast.

My broccoli and kale are hanging in there, perhaps better than I thought, but they're also getting eat up pretty bad by something. I made an onion/dish detergent spray in the blender yesterday and let it sit for 24 hours, so as soon as this rainy weather is over today, I will be out there spraying those plants in an attempt to save them from further bug damage.

The snap peas are growing, but I planted them much too late (like June) and they don't do well in hot, humid weather, so don't know if I'll get anything out of them. I haven't even seen a blossom on them yet.

I DID see flowers on what is either zucchini or acorn squash the other day, but they open in morning and are spent by day's end. So I was out there early yesterday morning with my q-tip becus I saw that both a male and female flower were open. (They look distinctly different.) So I hand-pollinated to make sure I get a fruit forming there. In the years I didn't think to hand pollinate, I can't tell you how many blossoms came and went and still no veggie becus insects weren't sufficiently pollinating.

The cucumbers are doing well, but are also a little behind schedule. They're just reaching outward and getting ready to climb.

It occurred to me that I could have planted soybeans this spring, but I had never really eaten them much and didn't know how much I'd like them until I tried a free handout at Trader Joe's using edamame beans with black beans, corn and tomato with Goddess dressing. Absolutely loved it and and have made the recipe several times since. Well, those edamame beans are not cheap. I don't know why, since soybeans are a staple of American agriculture.

Did some quick online research yesterday and soybeans look pretty easy to grow in Zone 6 here in CT. But it's borderline too late to plant. They need at least 65 days to harvest. They like hot temps.

I will definitely make room for them in next year's garden.

I was able to enjoy an impromptu handful of blueberries from a bush that's doing very well. Usually, the 4 or 5 bushes I have don't produce much and what berries there are are usually devoured by birds. But this year the birds have been totally preoccupied by the 3-year-old mulberry tree that's already 20 feet high. Catbirds, robins and even a Baltimore oriole have been in there going nuts. The outer branches aren't strong enough to support such (relatively) heavy birds, so you can see the birds fluttering around flying from one branch to the next. I love watching.

Was annoyed to see that my 6-month bill from car insurance company (MetLife) once again reflected a premium increase (this time, 10%) for no reason at all. I have a stellar driving record, a 12-year-old car that's not used for regular commuting. Their explanation was that my town apparently had more car accidents, resulting in a higher risk rating. Well, when have i EVER seen a rate DECREASE? Never. One would think it would work both ways, that if rates increase due to higher risk, they should at least some time also decrease when risk falls. I noticed the rep didn't have an answer for that.

Overall, it's cheap insurance (about $450 a year) but as I said, old car, not driven much, minimal coverage.

Also have been monitoring heating oil rates and trying to figure out best time to pull the trigger and fill the tank. It has come down in recent weeks, but the question is, will it drop lower? Right now it's still very high compared to previous years, to the tune of $3.21 a gallon.

6 Responses to “Halfway through summer with no A/C, cancelled cable!!”

  1. gingerbell Says:

    I have had my cable go from basic, to premier packages, get the bill, go back to basic, and decided...forget it! I cancelled the cable and I am perfectly happy with the 3 sometimes 4 channels I get. I work all day and am rarely able to sit and unwind/relax before 8 p.m. so it's really not that much of a loss. I might try NexFlix next.

  2. ceejay74 Says:

    Our cable company did an "upgrade" (complete with $6 per month fee increase) that has removed much of the functions I liked and used. In addition, the new system seems to drop more shows that you're recording. If it's a serial drama or reality contest, that's really deflating because you build up this anticipation for nothing.

    Last night AS got tired of me complaining and said she'd be willing to try canceling it. (We'd still get basic cable because it comes standard in our condo, but we pay about $45 monthly for more channels and a DVR to record shows.) But NT is still not game; he likes being able to fast-forward through commercials, plus he loves BBC America because it gives him a taste of home.

    I've just stopped being attached to the serial stuff we watch since I never know if I'm going to get to see it all the way through, so I think I'd get over the withdrawal pretty quickly. Plus I'd hopefully be more productive/creative with my evenings instead of just parking in front of taped show after taped show. Maybe I'll try again with NT down the road a bit.

  3. patientsaver Says:

    Yeah, I once went over a year with no cable and was pretty used to it, and I imagine that after a while, I'd get "unaddicted" to those shows. But these days, TV is one of the few forms of entertainment I have on a regular basis, much more so in the winter months.

  4. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Love hearing about your garden. Smile
    I think you are a champ when it comes to economizing. So whatever you do with cable, I'm sure will work out just fine.

  5. patientsaver Says:

    Thanks, Joan. It's little comments like yours that make my day. Cus it's not the kind of thing I usually mention to many people in passing. But i'm always scouting around for ways to save money.

  6. frugaltexan75 Says:

    I think you are supposed to put the ice behind the fan. If I remember correctly the fan sucks air from behind.

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