After the craziness of Thanksgiving, I was a little worried for Christmas and Hanukkah. Not only had we been warned against travelling by the doctor but the two holidays being so close together made me worried for the potential for…mess. We had been planning on going to LA for Christmas but we decided to cancel a few days before the trip was supposed to start. So, instead we got a tree the Sunday before Christmas, set it up and decorated the house, fried a WHOLE BUNCH of latkes and decided to celebrate the season in a low key way. It’s actually been lovely; Eddy seems to have decided not to grumble over the nightly Hanukkah readings meaning that the kids are accepting it better too, I cooked Christmas brunch instead of Christmas lunch (much easier) and we went to Blue Fin for Christmas evening dinner. The kids seem to have been delighted with their presents (Owen and Jonah were especially happy with their laptops, surprise, surprise) and the grown ups gave and received some lovely things too. Eddy got me a print that I had liked on Etsy a long time ago but never pulled the trigger on as well as a sweet angel statue for the garden. He also got me a Nest thermostat and a light for my backpack so that I am more visible when walking to and from the bus in the dark. I got him tickets to a Hendrix tribute concert and a couple of little tchotchkes. My mom received the Hamilton CD among other things; I got the digital version as a bonus when buying it on Amazon so the kids have been listening to it non stop too.
It all started with a leaky dishwasher, but we just finished installing solar panels on the roof. How did we go from one to another? It was through a rabbit trail of rebates.
Eddy called me at work one day to tell me that the dishwasher was linking, so much so that we needed to call a professional water treatment company. Given that we would need to be ripping open the basement walls anyway, I reached out to a few companies for quotes on earthquake retrofitting. Then I started looking for city or state rebates for earthquake retrofitting; there weren’t any, but there were some really good deals on installing solar panels and other ecofriendly updates.
I reached out to some companies on insulation; we ended up having a team come out and blow insulation between the siding and drywall, into the walls, from the outside of the house. Then we decided to install solar panels, although we found out that we would need a new roof first. So off came one roof and on came the next, in only two days. A few days after Thanksgiving the crew came out to put on the panels; this process took a little more time than putting on the new roof.
So far we haven’t seen any electricity savings; it has only been a few days. In fact, moving the fuse box has caused a few problems with the breakers and we have lost power to part of the house a few times. The biggest immediate impact has been mostly cosmetic and we won’t see the biggest effect until summer but we also moved the power and cable lines that were hanging so low over the deck. What a difference! Another big project for the summer- something that has to wait until summer, in fact- will be repainting the house. Once that is complete, the last project will be reinforcing and straightening the chimney, and then the outside of the house will be complete…for now.