efficient.] According to the report, we use 48% more electricity than our closest 100 neighbors which costs us about $436 extra per year.
The report caught my attention; its statistics a siren call for immediate change. However I have been totally unable to convey any sense of urgency to my family. I cannot, for love or money (and believe me, I have tried both) get my family members to turn off lights, shut down computers, or even close doors. When I come home from school, the house is lit up like a candelabrum on the eighth day of Hanukkah. My family turns off lights as often as Hislop men zip up their pants (which is NEVER unless they are reminded).
I cannot control the light switches in our home but I can control the thermostat. When I go to bed at night I turn the heater off. Off. It has been cold outside lately and our house has been pretty cold inside lately as well. This morning it was 53 degrees F when I got up. Lance does not complain about the cold, however. Though our bedroom is easily 5 degrees colder than the main rooms in the house (it was an addition and seems to have no insulation), he is not cold. The two down comforters on our bed are not enough to keep me warm in sub-50 degree sleeping quarters so I use him. Winter nights find me pegged to his side, warming myself in much the same way that victims of hypothermia reheat. Frigid
houses are not all bad.
Frigid college campuses are not all bad either.
Tuesday, at midnight plus one, Brandon Sanderson hosted a book signing for the final book in the Wheel of Time series. [It is a 13 book series originated by Robert Jordan. When Jordan died, Sanderson was asked to finish writing the fantasy saga.] Sunday hard core Wheel of Time aficionados gathered on the BYU campus to be counted. Those who got a number written on their hands Sunday afternoon and who spent the night OUTSIDE that night were given tickets Monday morning that guaranteed them a prime line location for the midnight book signing.
Chick, Tanah, and Lance are hard core Wheel of Time aficionados. Sunday afternoon the backs of their hands read 48, 49, and 50 and Sunday evening they bedded down on campus. At 2:15 a.m. the thermometer read 0 degrees F in Provo, UT.
Thanks to a LOT of help from friends and family, they survived the night. Chick slept in a tent borrowed from Hamilton Noel. Tanah slept under the stars on Marrissa Housley’s sleeping pad. Lance also slept out, but was on the foam pad I encouraged him to pack. Tammy Sheffield brought them breakfast and an open door invitation and Jeanna Nielson opened her home, shower, and refrigerator to them.
It was definitely a “life-is-the-stories-you-can-tell” event for the three of them. They played “Settlers of Catan” with other line dwellers (Lance won), , shared jokes comprehensible only to those who speak Wheel-of-Time-ese, participated in a
question/answer session the author and the wife of Robert Jordan, won door prizes (two backpacks) and met scores fascinating people, including the man who makes all the maps for Sanderson’s fantasy worlds. Of course the crowning event was the book signing, which happened shortly after midnight. They were home around 2:00 a.m. Tuesday and up again and headed for school by 6:30.
Thursday the temperatures warmed to above freezing (38 degrees F) for the first times in weeks. Snow, lots and lots of snow, accompanied the warmer air. The storm hit just before school let out Thursday and caused school closures across northern Utah on Friday, leaving 2 feet of snow on the valley floor and up to 5 feet on the benches. Yards of new snow blanket the mountain slopes.
I drove from OPA (my school) to SAA (Grace’s school) during the storm, hoping to see her play basketball. The 16 mile drive took me 92 minutes; even on the interstate, I did not go over 20 mph. I saw the last 2 minutes and 11 seconds of the game. (SAA won.)
The storms are gone and so are the warmer temperatures. It is 2 degrees F outside right now.
However, I expect to encounter warmer (MUCH warmer) temperatures soon (VERY soon). Do not expect a post from
me next Sunday as Lance and I will be in Costa Rica. Thanks to a generous grant from the Daniel Young Parkinson Foundation, Lance and I will board the plane (the SAME plane) at 12:05 a.m. Tuesday and will not return until 11:57 p.m. the next Tuesday. WHAAA-WHOOO!
P.S. I am NOT taking War and Peace on this trip to Costa Rica.
Why Do We Keep This Dog?
Tanah insists Zorro is part of the family; Lance insists
he is NOT….
Zorro’s motto is “The World Is My Buffet”; he eats everything from pig poop (which he wolfs down like it was
meatloaf) to the stopper for my kitchen sink to plum pits. What goes in must come out. Sometime it comes out his throat, like the sock he puked out on my living room carpet. He is not even allowed into the living room but, for some reason probably not known even to him, he crossed the forbidden threshhold into the living room and emptied his gut. Four carpet scrubbings later the carpet stain is still there, a constant reminder that we own an annoying dog.
Some things come out his throat, some things come out his butt, and some things try to come out his butt. Sadly for
Zorro, he has a tight anal sphincter and getting things out is sometimes a challenge for him. Not infrequently, Tanah has to don rubber gloves and pull on whatever it is that is partially protruding from the hole under his tail. Often it is one of Lance’s long socks. The latest thing to be pulled from his posterior was a tampon, previous user unidentified.
Recently he added newspapers to his list of edibles. When let out for his morning "business" trip, he grabs the newspaper from the front porch, takes it to the garden, and eats it. ARG!!!
Saturday he skidding around the kitchen, head on the floor, back legs pumping feverishly. When he ran himself into a wall, he would stop and paw at his snout.
With some effort (it took three of us) we stopped him and
opened our investigation by opening his mouth. There, lodged firmly between his canines, was the latest addition to his list of edibles: a plastic magnet. (See photo on right.)
So why do we keep this dog? We keep him because he pulls the kids sleds up the hill. We keep him because he frolics in the yard. We keep him becuase he lets Miles maul him. We keep him because we love him. (Don't tell Tanah!)