Goal Trackers

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I did not get the chance to blog right before Christmas to wish you all a Merry Christmas, so I hope that you have all had a great holiday! I hope you all were able to spend time with your loved ones and got all the things that you wished for.

Wow, what Christmas this has been.

First off, I got the shocker of my life just before the holidays..... My electric bill! FUCK! Now, you need to understand, I live in a tiny house and it's just me and the kitty! The electric company raised its rates 72% last year *FUCK!!* It was raised that much because apparently there was some sort of rate cap on the electric company for several years and last year that cap was lifted and of course the CEOs of BGE were is such dire straights *that statements is dripping with sarcasm in case you missed it* that they had to add all the hikes that were missed while under that cap. As if that hike wasn't a killer on it's own! The electric company raised it rates 50% this year! *talked about a double fuck!*

OK, so in anticipation of this unbelieve act of piracy! I unpacked all my sweaters and set my thermostat to 68 when I'm home and 63 when I'm not. A few extra layers inside will help me keep my heating bills down. So, when my bill came I was expecting the bill to be slightly higher, but when the bill was almost triple what I normally pay I freaked! I mean FREAKED! *FUCK! FUCK!! FUCK!!! FUCK!!!! FUCK!!!!!* After sounding like a nasty sailor whose mouth just went on a swearing rampage, I took a closer look at the bill.

Do you see what I see??

yikers

A huge glaring difference in the amount of electricity usage last month. Nomally I use between 400-650 kWh. Last month they say I used 1573 kWh! That's almost TRIPLE the electrical usage!! After freaking out and calling my older sister to see if she could tell me what the hell was going on with my electricity. (My older sister is an architectual engineer, so naturally I think she knows everything and anything when it comes to house things, and when I'm freaking out that badly, I truely believe she SHOULD know it all!) So, after my sister calmed me down I called the electric company to tell them there is something VERY wrong. Of course, the customer service person was not really interested in what I was saying becuase she kept reiterating the fact that there was a rate increase and this was probably the first time I've had my heat turned on since the rate hike. This is where my temper and sanity was after being on the phone with this woman for 5 minutes...

me: I understand that the rates went up, but I'm not talking price! I'm talking usage.

her: Ma'am, it was much colder last month and you probably weren't using your heat as much as the month be-

me: Listen to me very carefully! I am NOT talking about the COST of my bill! I am talking about the amount of kilowatts per hour that are used. My amount of electical USAGE nearly tripled! I want someone to take a look at my meter to see if it is working properly becuase I have NEVER used that much energy in a month! DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I AM SAYING NOW!!

Finally, she said she would put in a request to check to usage history and pass this along. Needless to say, the company did NOT come out and check the meter, they just sent me a letter saying the reading was accurate and that it was an actual reading. Then the letter proceeded to tell me again about the rate increase. UGGH!!!

I called again today and firmly requested that someone come out to my house and do a thurough check on my meter and that I wanted to be there when the person came to my house so they can explain what the heck they are doing and what the check verifies. At the same time, I contacted my home warrenty company to come out and check my heat pump because the electric company seems to think that might be the culpret of my energy usage increase. So I have a service tech coming to the house Friday morning to check the heat pump, and then I have the electric company coming out the following Friday to check the meter.

That was my holiday freak-out session.

On to more pleasant things . . .

My holiday break started when I received this great book from KozyKitty on the last day of work. I had seen the book in Border's and been debating on purchasing it, but I knew it would have to wait till after the holidays. I just couldn't afford to spend anything on myself for right now. Luckily, I didn't have to wait long! I've already got about 20 of the projects in this book marked!! This should certainly help in my stash-busting efforts! Thanks KK!!

A gift

Then my holiday break really got started at Happy Hour - Friday night! KK and another friend of ours, Tracey, and KK family all met up at Ram's Head for laughs , drinks and food. In that order :)

Happy Hour!

KK and her DH in the first pic, then DH and her daughter in the 2nd.
KozyKitty

I had decided this year, since I was poorer than a church mouse, that I would put my stash to good use and knit or crochet everyone in my family and friends their gifts this year. *in October, what the hell was I thinking??.... apparently I wasn't!* So, I searched my stash, my project books, the Internet and Ravelry for ideas and projects and I made my list. As the days flew by, panic started to set in and that list was growing shorter and shorter. NOT because I was actually finishing projects. Oh no, I had apparently thought I was super knitting woman back in October when I first created the list. The list was getting shorter because I was crossing names off the list and buying gifts *with crumbs I found scurrying around* All-in-all, I am pleased with what I did accomplish!

Just a few Christmas photos to share with you all :)

Oh Christmas Tree! Oh Christmas Tree! My sister puts so many lights on her tree that you can literally read a novel by the lights of her tree alone!

Oh Christmas Tree

Here is my niece Jules with the fairy blanket that has been started for her. The day before Christmas I had to frog all the crocheting that had been done on the blanket because it just wasn't looking right, so the blanket is back in my house to be worked on over winter break.

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Here's my other niece, Gabby. She just moved into her own room, so I told her that as soon as she figured out how she's going to decorate her new room I would make a blanket for her too!

Gabbi

I was working furiously on this Fisherman's Watchcap from Knitting with Balls. I was up till 3am on Christmas Eve knitting this baby for my brother-in-law! He opened that gift, put that hat on his head and wore it ALL morning!! He has requested a 2nd one in black and red (you'll see why a little further down). Now that made staying up till 3am worth it! He's a jogger and said the hat would be perfect for keeping his head and ears warm on his runs.

Yarn: Paton's Classic Merino in black & Red Heart Ltd. Soft Yarn in Guacamole for the strips.
Needles: size 8

Marc with hat

I finally finished Mom & Dad's afghan *the day before Christmas Eve, but hey it's finished!* and they love it. It's the perfect color that will match their decor in the family room. My father loves the fact that it's so heavy and warm!

Yarn: Red Heart TLC Amore in Garnet
Hook: size K

Mom & Dad's Blanket

I also completed an afghan for my sister and her hubby. This was the Soft Waves pattern from 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns book. My brother-in-law was tickled pink that I made the blanket wide enough for them to BOTH snuggle under. Apparently, my sister doesn't share the first one I made her with him because it's not big enough *giggle*

Yarn: Lion Suede in Waterlilies, Denim, Fushia, Eggplant and Olive.
Hook: Size H
Stefania's Soft Waves Ripple afghan

Last up was a joke between my older sister and me. She thought I was fuckin' crazy when I told her my Christmas plan. When time was running out she would joke that everyone would be getting a knitted dishcloth as a gift. Well, I did not get to finish her gift, but I had to have something for her to open on Christmas morning. So......

A joke

She laughed for a good five minutes :) I promised her she would be opening another gift for La Befana! She did love the colors of the dishcloth :)

Here is one of the best gifts I got this year from my little sister. She knows I am struggling with making ends meet and that I might have to sell my house in order for me to keep my sanity, but my house needs a little work. So she and my brother-in-law gave me a "Worker Bee" certificate! What is a Worker Bee certificate you ask?? It's a promose that they will both come down and help me out on any major house project (inside or outside) and all I would need to do is give them about a month's heads-up so they can take off work, and feed them while they are here! I was so touched! I just might be putting in that new kitchen after all! I just need to find myself a money tree to pay for the cabinets! *laugh*

Worker bees!!

Lastly, I received some great knitting books off my wishlist! I will certainly have no problem using up my stash in 2008 with these great books keeping me busy!!

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Now, I don't know about your family, but it seems that there is always someone in my family that just gets so excited about their gifts they just simply cannot wait to use them or try them on. Normally, that someone is usually one of my nieces, because lets face it, kids just can't wait. Well, this year was no different.

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The biggest kid in the family! See the black and red jogging top. Understand why he now wants a black and red Fisherman's Watchcap *laugh*

Poster person for "What Not to Wear!"

Marc

This is was we all wanted to do by the end of the night....

Down for the count

When I came home and shared all my Christams goodies with Frisco, he apparently objected to the knitting books. I think he fears that I will spend more time with yarn then with him *giggle*

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5 comments:

Nichole said...

I feel and understand your electric company pain.... our entire house is electric... every. single. thing. Heat, water (well pump), toilet (septic pump), stove, etc - every thing. I too keep loads of sweaters, sweatshirts, wool socks and have blankets stashed everywhere... even the dogs have their blankies on the couch, lol! When I got the bill this month it was about $125 more than this time last year... well, the temps were average of 20 degrees colder too... and I had the nerve to complain of lack of snow last Christmas... ugh.

insanknitty said...

Look at all that amazing and beautiful christmas knitting! Wow! I feel you pain staying up till 3am finishing a gift.. I was up till 2:30 last night (we have christmas with the in-laws on Saturday) and I still have to finish the one I was working on last night, and two more.. yikers... one will definitely be late... the recipient will be great about it. I am working on a fairy blanket idea too for my daughter.. I might have to ask you where you got all your patterns! ;-) I have a few.. but certainly not enough for a blanket unless I repeat... :-)

Anyway... great job onyour christmas knits... I'll keep the KAL open if you want to start for next yeat :-)

Carola said...

good grief. Electic companies! Do keep us posted on the progress of this nightmare. I really do keep my fingers crossed that it turns out to be a big mistake.

Valerie said...

Oh my goodness.. I would be beating up the electrician and the customer service rep. I can't stand people who won't listen to what I have to say. I understand they don't want to be there, but that's why they call it work. Deal with it. I hope everything works out hun!

It looks like you had a lovely Christmas!! Curious Question, Is Knitting New Scarves any good? I haven't had the chance to look at it yet but everyone I talk to says it's definitely worth the money.

Hope you have a wonderful New Years hun!

Liz said...

What I'd like to know about your electric bill is this....how come your average daily usage is 47.7 hours when there are only 24 IN a day????????

Love your knitted gifts, I especially love the blanker with squares. I did a similar thing and gifted a present in progress and now have it back to finish it!!

Happy New Year to you. I hope all your dreams come true in 2008. x