living in a greenhouse

That is what we have been living in for a little less than two years. With the front of the house facing east and the back facing west and five large sky windows offering southern exposure, the Big Top was basically a greenhouse. It has always been, depending on the season, 10-30 degrees warmer inside. Perhaps a good thing in the winter but it has been absolutely, positively unbearable in the spring, the summer and the fall. Think about it. When it is say 110° outside, which it is often anytime June through September (and October last year!) it is overwhelming inside…if we didn’t have air conditioning…which we do but the ac pretty much would have to be on from 9 AM through 9 and even 10 PM just to maintain the indoor temperature in the 80s.

Yes, our PG & E bill during the late spring, summer and fall is insane.

Yes, many people are desperate for the light and the bright, especially during the winter months. But these people have not spent any length of time here under the Big Top greenhouse.

Truth be told, I hated it. I have hated it even more than the rental white walls that are poorly painted and the mis-matched painted baseboards and doors throughout the house. It is just too damn bright. Rarely does anyone ever curl up in one of our cozy leather chairs to read or just relax in our sitting room. It is just too bright and too hot. I could not and still have not hung any of my precious photos (there are a lot of photos) or any of the art that we have (mostly thanks to our talented niece). Are you kidding me? The constant sunshine streaming in through all those freaking windows from sunrise until sunset would destroy our precious, valuable-to-us treasures. So all those treasures, photos and objects d’art have remained packed away in the little cupboard under the stairs…the long-promised playhouse for Hazel, and now, Fallon.

A couple weeks ago I got to the point that I just could not go through another spring, summer or fall living in this greenhouse. Something had to be done, I told Bill and our landlord. So Bill and our landlord together decided that yes, I was right. Of course I was right. It was decided the least expensive, easiest and best option for us and our landlord was an energy saving tinted window film.

Bill and Ben together worked on this last weekend. I told them this was the best birthday gift! The difference is so dramatic.

And so very much appreciated these last couple of March days, before the official start of spring, with bright, sunshine-y highs in the 80s. The Big Top has remained a comfortable 70°!


Buh-bye greenhouse effect!

As for me, I have spent the last two afternoons curled up in one of my cozy, comfortable sitting room chairs reading…at four-freakin-o’clock in the afternoon!




what I won’t do to get 10% off

Its colds and flu season which means it is time for flu shots. It’s kind of, sort of mandatory in my workplace…kind of…sort of… I mean no one is forcing me to get a flu shot but if I choose to defer I get to wear a mask while in the workplace throughout colds and flu season…wear a mask for a 12 hour shift.

I know.

I can scarcely handle a mask for 10-30 minutes at a time in a patient’s isolation room. I seriously can’t breathe when I have to wear a mask. Of course there was that one time but it is amazing the super-human powers a mother develops for the sake of her babies. I can’t handle wearing a mask and I prefer protecting myself and my family from that which I am exposed to in a hospital so I get the flu shot…except I missed the cut-off time to get it done for free from Occupational Health at work. I missed the cut-off by a couple of hours. My fault, I know. But I still had no intention of having to wear a mask at work all winter long…when I am lucky enough to work. I could have gone to my doctor’s office and paid for the shot there…or…I could go to my local grocery store, pay for the shot and get this:

I went grocery shopping. After all the cupboards were very bare. Thirty bucks paid for the flu shot and I get a $35 added discount plus $90 more off in coupons I’d say I did pretty good this shopping expedition.

I’m protected.

I don’t have to wear that damn mask at work.

My family gets to eat for the next week or so.

It’s a win.

ode to the local weather dude

If I haven’t stated it before anywhere here in this blog, I will state it now that I am a bit of a news junkie. Being a child of the television era, I have to also admit that I enjoy some (not all) of my news spoon-fed to me via TV news. Which is why I force torture share the morning and evening news watching it with my circus act.

They love me for it.

Not really.

I tell myself that someday all five of these clowns of mine will thank me for force-feeding sharing the news of the day with them. For now I will be happy that, away at school,  Zoë is very likely to tune in any chance her 18 units load plus work schedule this semester will allow. And it has nothing to do with what color tie Brian Williams is wearing tonight…although she does admire his choices.

And I will enjoy the fact that my little man, er, my nine year old son (I’m not supposed to call him a little man anymore) loves and lives for the weather segment on the local news.

SSSSHHHH!!! The WEATHER is on now!“, he will scold.

And he will watch and report back to us what the weather forecast is and will be offering his own advice on wardrobe choices for the next five days. My boy loves the weather forecast. He looks forward to it. He even has his favorite weather dude.

May I present to you, Mark Finan, the ultimate weather dude.

Sorry Al Roker, but your personality has nothing on this actual, real-life, bonafide Meteorologist…and not just any old television Meteorologist but one of the first Meteorologists in the country to earn the status of Certified Broadcast Meteorologist from the American Meteorological Society.

sidebar: Reading Mark’s bio right now I discover that “meteorologist” is capitalized. Who knew?

Back to the ultimate weather dude, Mark Finan. Daniel is a fan. Daniel is a believer, a true believer in what Mark reports and teaches him as he delivers the 5-day forecast with authority. Forget the news of the day…unless it is the weather…because there is weather. How does one even start their day without this information? You don’t. Or you start your day wholly unprepared dressed for a warm, sunny day when it is cold, damp and foggy. At least that is what Daniel believes thanks to the wisdom of his mentor.

As Daniel’s mom, I have to thank Mark Finan for teaching and inspiring probably the most amazing second grader you could ever know. Who knows where your inspiration will take him? Were it not for you and Daniel both, I would very likely leave for work every evening wholly unprepared for what I have to drive home in every morning.

I have to add, dude, you are THE weather dude. Don’t you have some control over this? I mean can we have more than an hour or two of sunshine any time soon? Please?