Wednesday, January 7, 2009


I am extremely tight…
and very selective about what enters my personal space.

I like warmth with a soft breeze, simplicity and a life of ease. I prefer quietude with splashes of exuberance, a neutral tone accented by color and plant life.
Predictability helps to structure my life. Friends call at special times each year, or on a particular day and time, and some come over on a certain day of the week. My daughter usually begins and ends school at the same time, and she stays at her father’s two days a week, though she vacillates on which days.

Like a menstrual cycle, lovely bills come due on their reliable, selfish, monthly schedules, and every week my generous friend shares her garbage service with me. (Together, four of us fill one small can weekly. We are avid recyclers from the Midwest. I was conserving things in Minnesota at age seven, which my parents couldn’t comprehend. My environmental efforts irritated them. Dad was poor, but not that poor, he probably thought. Mom, on the other hand, was raised with money and permitted pieces of my precocity.)

When winter comes in Colorado, which doesn’t match the snow levels nor frequent blizzards of Minnesota or Wisconsin in July, I survey my home prior to cold’s unwelcome and much-too-long visit looking for ways to keep the warmth in, the chill out.

First I assess my home’s primary occupant. I wear more clothes, layering them, so I can peel as I thaw. Being a household naturist, wearing clothing is against my religion, but I refuse to turn the heat up past 66 during the day, except Fridays when I punch it up to 72 and chip the ice clinging to my windows with a corkscrew.

Some of my ideas may seem crazy, but I’m eccentric and the characteristic will not, by choice, change. Here are three thoughts.

I slide the range hood fan screen out, toss it in the dishwasher, and cover the fan hole with cardboard, which I secure with masking tape. Only once each year do I forget and turn on the fan for a sec, gasping. For freshening, circulating, and removing particulates from the air, I use Clarity, my Honeywell Enviracaire air purifier, and mist with peppermint water (see

Cracks and holes are discreetly plugged with old clothes or remnants if caulking doesn’t apply, so the ol’ ranch wears a tighter sweater. Guys like that. And though I’m a friendly person who welcomes a smiling face and lots of light, I keep my drapes drawn and blinds blocking the drafts drifting through my windy windows.

There may not be any more ways I can reduce expenses, as I did when I decided to work part time and be a full-time den mother in 1996, but I can be tight by conserving.

copyright © 2009 by Auntie Eartha. All rights reserved.

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