So here it is late October, and there is definitely frost on the pumpkin. (For old school New Englandah’s you know the rest of that sentence). For those that you that are not, I’ll give you a quick funny –but to get the humor you must say out loud and think like a New Englandah (dry and a bit rude).
“When there’s frost on the pumpkin, it’s the time for Dickie Dunkin’.
Right now in New England, we’re beginning to frost up. We are “tween” seasons. That time where one season hasn’t quite started (skiing, snowboarding & snowshoeing), and the other season hasn’t quite ended (still nurturing lettuce, spinach and root veggies). Tween weather can be 75 degrees one day and 50 the next. Being hard-core FRUNE’s (Frugal New Englandah’s) we know that the time between seasons is the time to prepare for the next season. There is no time to rest, only time to shake it off, get up and keep moving.
So if we have wood (not Dickie’s kind) we chop and stack it, if we have produce we “put it by” and if we have leaks in the homestead, we tighten them up. And tightening up the homestead has to be the highest priority at this time of year. As any FRUNE will tell you, keeping the heat at 60 degrees in the Winter is practical and conservative. But letting perfectly good, paid for, heat escape is just insanity. You know that sock you shoved around the dryer vent 5 years ago? It’s probably time to think about putting some permanent insulation there.
Most of us know where we have drafts and air infiltration, and can handle fixing those drafts properly. However most utilities offer a free service where they will come in and do a home energy audit to identify areas where you can save on your heating bill. There are also govt. incentives to replace old heaters including water heaters, and install insulation. These programs often partner with your local utilities (and their own rebate programs) which make them very accessible and quite a good “bah-gin”. Recently, I heard someone say that they didn’t participate in these programs because they are “handouts” that cost the tax payers money. So let me fill you in on a little secret, utilities are “required” to pay into many of these programs! These are not handouts! If you pay your somewhat inflated bill, you are paying into these programs.
If you can’t undertake something “big”, there are also many simple fixes like insulating your hot water pipes or buying a can of expanding foam to put in the gaps around your windows. Cheap fixes with big rewards as the cold of Winter begins to roar in. When it comes to weather proofing the homestead, a dollah spent, is several dollah’s earned.