Monday, January 6, 2014


I had a fairly productive weekend. As mentioned in my previous post, we woke up Friday to a cold house and a furnace that wasn't working. I quickly found the problem, which was the same as the last few times I had someone come out to repair it. There is a small electric motor, that must be running for the furnace to fire, and it wasn't coming on. After fiddling with it, I finally got it to come up, although didn't really do anything specific to achieve this. Its been running fine ever since, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed since we're expecting the temperatures to drop below zero in the next day or two.

We spent Saturday running errands and grocery shopping. We began the day with a quick trip into town to buy straw, which would later be stuffed into the dog houses to provide Luke and Jack with some extra warmth in preparation for cold weather. After this we went to both London and Corbin, primarily to do grocery shopping, but also made a few other stops. We're trying to play ahead and buy a couple of weeks worth of food at a time, including food for the dogs, which, by itself, is about 70 pounds of meat.

The weather on Sunday was surprisingly nice, especially considering the bad weather that was forecasted to move into the area. We decided to take advantage of this and do some work outside to give the dogs a warmer place to stay during the cold weather. We started by enclosing the porch, or two sides at least, with plastic. It didn't turn out as well as it did last year, when I had my Dad helping, but as long as it holds up during this abnormally cold period I'll be happy. After finishing with the porch we stuff straw into the dog houses, covered one, to block off the ventilation holes, and set up a place for Daisy to sleep on the porch, in case she didn't want to use her house, which is under the shed. I feel pretty good about the preparations we've made, and that the animals should be fine.

Before coming in for the day I decided to plug in the heat tape for the water lines. I haven't used it since we finished installing the insulated metal panels around the base of the trailer, which was three years ago, but we've also not had temperatures this cold. I considered not using it, but decided that the small amount of electricity it will use is a small price to pay for the piece of mind of not having to worry that the pipes will freeze and burst.

Much of the rest of the day was spent at the computer, paying bills and working on the budget for 2014. The budget for 2013 had some holes in it, and needed some tweaking to fit our current spending patterns. I added new categories to the variable expenses account for things that we spent money on regularly in 2013 that wasn't budgeted, including pet care, home improvement, and workshops/classes. We've also added a regular monthly deposit to our savings account, so that we're adding something every month. Last year I planned to only add when we had money left over, and that didn't happen as often as I would have liked. This year we're putting in around 8% of our net income, which isn't as much as I'd like, but is much better than nothing. We'll add more to that in months that we have money left over.

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