Home > Archive: May, 2021

Archive for May, 2021

Another Big Expense Done

May 14th, 2021 at 01:46 pm

A couple of days ago, the installation of my ductless heat pump was completed. It's a two-headed Daikin system, and I am delighted with the results. It will be useful both summer and winter, but especially in the winter. It's also more energy efficient and will probably lower my electricity costs. I will also get a $300 tax credit on this year's taxes. The total was $5412 - homeownership is not cheap!

Yesterday, I went out to water my frontyard flowers, and saw that someone had dug up a whole clump of sweet alyssum! It was there the day before, and then just gone - leaving a gaping hole in its wake. I was really upset. But, I grow most of my plants from seed, and have other flowers in the greenhouse that I can plant there. It's just really annoying and such a rude thing to do - who the hell steals plants already in the ground???!#@#$!^&!$@

My garden is starting to be productive again, and I have more food being produced that I can use up - so most of the excess is going to get processed for later months and next Winter. Right now, I have an excess of walking and green onions, spinach, fava beans, and am absolutely overrun with cilantro. This weekend, I am going to do a massive fava harvest. I'll have another one a week from now and then replace the plants with peppers and eggplants.

Still waiting on the final update from the bank's underwriters to close on the refinance.

NW: $287,581.23

Back from Vacation

May 9th, 2021 at 07:03 pm

I returned last night from my week long camping and hiking trip. It was fantastic! I am exhausted physically, but emotionally it has been so relaxing and rejuvenating. I need a vacation every month!

I booked this trip last December when I was feeling cooped up. It started out as a mental experiment - if I can't travel anywhere, I can plan and let my mind travel. I decided to plan a week long outdoor adventure. I picked Utah, and started planning. By the time I got to the third day, I couldn't contain myself any longer and booked the trip. I picked May since the weather there would still likely only be mild, and a school week thinking that it may be less crowded with fewer families. (I was wrong on both counts - the weather was hot and the national parks were busier than I had anticipated). I thought that if I were vaccinated by May, I would go. Planning the trip and the hikes provided me with months of enjoyment.

I rented a campervan - I have never used one before, and I was delighted by it. It was compact (fitting into a regular parking spot), and was set up with a bed, a kitchen, and an outdoor shower). I booked it because I didn't want to stay at hotels with other people or eat at restaurants, and I didn't want to fly my tent, camping cot, and all my camping supplies all the way to Utah. I stayed at campgrounds for the first two nights, and then did dispersed camping for the rest of the trip. It was beautiful. I camped by mountains, in the forest, and in dark valleys. Three of the places I camped were certified International Dark Sky spots, and I saw the milky way all three of those nights. I grocery shopped the first day and cooked all three of my meals each day.

The most expensive part of the trip was the van rental. I ended up paying for extra miles thinking I would need them, but I didn't. So, it could have been about $250 cheaper. Oh well...

Here is the cost breakdown:

396.61 - Flight, airport parking, and Uber to and from van rental office
822.13 - Van and equipment rental
157.04 - Gas
76.92 - Groceries and snacks
45.00 - Campground fees x2 nights
125.00 - National Park Annual Pass and 3 state park entry fees
76.91 - Gifts, souvenirs, and donations
1699.61 - TOTAL

I'm off to read the blogs that I missed while I was gone.