#WeekendCoffeeShare – Not Feeling February


Good morning! Thank you for joining me on this February Saturday for drink of something hot (or cold, your choice) and a chat.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you it doesn’t feel like February, at least not yet. It still feels like January. Maybe because I’m still working through month-end closing at work, focusing on billing everyone before Monday, February 6, because that’s when the January period closes. Perhaps, because the temperature still feels January-ish. February is supposed to be warmer, right? After all, we are getting closer to spring, 6 more weeks of winter, according to the groundhog on February 2.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I feel like I got hit with a dose of reality this week. In the past few months, I’ve been reading several posts from fellow bloggers that their utilities costs have increased, that they’re reducing the temperature on the thermostat to lower their utility cost.

Honestly, I didn’t want to believe it. Perhaps, there was a part of me who was refusing to believe natural gas and electricity have gotten so expensive that it’s become unaffordable. My uncle (least favorite person) was even touting about how affordable utilities is in the U.S. a few weeks ago.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

I use natural gas to keep the house at a warmish temperature of 70-degrees-Fahrenheit (21-degrees-Celsius). It’s warm to me when my body behaves and cold when it doesn’t. It has to do with my screw-up autoimmune system. In prior years, the most I would spend on natural gas is about $150 a month and that’s if the month is extra cold.

I got my bill at the end of last week. When I saw the number, I felt my eyes pop out of its sockets and jaw drop to the floor. It was $230. I got my electricity bill last week and it was over $50 when normally, this time of the year would be around $35-40.

Though my mother lives with me, she doesn’t pay any utilities nor any bill of any kind. She said she’d reimburse me but if you know her like I know her, I wouldn’t take her money because she always has ulterior motives when it comes to money, She won’t hand over money just like that. For the first time since this inflation crisis, I’m feeling the pinch in my wallet.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am looking forward to this upcoming Thursday, February 9th. I’m taking that day off from work to attend a gardening class online. Hopefully, I’ll learn something to help make my garden more productive.

I’m also looking forward to taking a break from work. January was a stressful month with the gloomy weather, so much to do at work and not enough time to do them in, and not to mention the stress at home with mom constantly interrupting me at work, telling me about her new exercise routine.

She’s been on a weird binge lately – jumping and exercising to YouTube exercise videos during work hours and cutting out foods like noodles while sticking to rice for dinner every night. My stomach isn’t thanking her for changing my diet. Anyway, she will be at the office that day, celebrating her birthday with her co-workers.

Aside from the gardening class, I have plenty of errands like retying my braces and getting my car serviced. I also hope to maybe get some herbs started for the garden and maybe make a trip to the library as well as long as the weather cooperates.

#weekendcoffeeshare is hosted by Natalie of Natalie the Explorer. I appreciate you stopping by and hope to see you back here next weekend.

19 thoughts on “#WeekendCoffeeShare – Not Feeling February

  1. I was traveling over the Xmas/New Year, and left the house at 62F. Apparently, the power went out on Dec 31 and came back on Jan 3. When the house gets down to 50F, an anti-freeze setting on a gas stove in the living room kicks on and heats the space back up to 53F. Inefficient, but cheaper than broken pipes.
    Still… $216 gas bill where last year’s (while I was home) was about $125. I’m curious about the next one.
    BTW, we’ve gotten down to -1F in the Carson Valley recently. Combined with the wet snow, it’s made for a lot of ice this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been hearing quite a bit of frozen pipes stories in the news lately, apparently it’s been a while since there’s been this kind of winter. I agree, keeping the house from falling below 50 is cheaper than paying a plumber to fix a broken pipe.
      I think it got down to 2F for us last week and it was 8AM. With wind-chill, it was about -10 but I’d bet that’s probably warmer than your -1. Yeah, there was quite a bit of that heavy wet snow, my muscles and back were hurting for days after shoveling it.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Probably not for another few weeks, not as long as it’s still below 40.
      I’m taking my time this year in starting seeds. Last year was overwhelming. This year, I hardly started any.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I completely understand your feelings about the gas and electricity bills. My husband and I got a set price for both in Oct of 2021 for three years, just before they were stopping to offer set prices altogether, so we will be off relatively lucky until Sept of next year. I don’t want to know yet what happens after that. This inflation thing sucks and it’s kind of weird, since it seems to affect people all over the globe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that’s lucky but I’m not sure how I would feel when the program ends. I think it was the suddenness that threw me off because it had started getting expensive in the last two months. Before then, the cost felt pretty normal but this last bill felt like it shot straight up.

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  3. Hi YingLan,
    For folks in your world (financial business monitoring and reporting) any period closing seems to always be stressful, so much so that I believe it is part of the very definition. I doubt I could survive in such a role, but I can’t think of a better way to assure good business management and protection for investors.
    I also think that weather is just being extra challenging this year – either that or I’m just paying more attention to it. Could be either but is most likely an impression fabricated by some combination of both and other factors.
    What you are willing to put up with from your mother continues to amaze and frighten me. There is something to be said for gradually beginning to care for our parents as they age, but what she dishes out seems much too harsh and abusive.
    I hope you can find a better balance. Maybe you should slowly and quietly move into her unoccupied home at least to rest, or study in peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Gary,
      It sure takes a village to close a period, some have tougher roles than others and I would consider mine to be easy. It’s just the deadline that gets my procrastinator self crazy.
      The weather has indeed been extra challenging. It’s been snowing every few days, which is insane for February. At this rate, I probably won’t be able to start my spring crops until April.
      I think I must’ve jinxed it somehow because for a moment there, I thought my mom’s changed but I stand corrected. She’s still the same and I’m beginning to feel like she’s turning into her grumpy dad.
      Her unoccupied house is currently on the market and after a few weeks of house showing, many damages were done to the house. I never liked the house. I told her that when she bought it. It structurally felt wrong and I was right. This house was a house of problems. There’s no way I would ever move into this house especially now that the front door cannot be locked. ๐Ÿ˜•

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      1. Yikes!
        I’d go nail it locked and use a back door until she can get that fixed. Leaving it like that invites squatters who could really destroy the place.
        My son’s inlaws are dealing with such a mess and the damage from one squatter was breath-taking.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. There’s not much security in the place. The back door is just a sliding door from the kitchen. She’s been going there frequently and checking the house to make sure there’s no one there. It’s unbelievable how someone can come to view the house can do some much damage.

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  4. Our utility bill has shot up but I attribute it to my husband being sick for at least a week. He wanted the heater on all day everyday that week. It was to the point where the house got too hot. I needed to go outside (in the cold) to re-calibrate my body temperature. Oh well the bill is paid. Thankfully every year we get annual credit on the gas bill which should bring relief — I think it’s a California thing. But in past years that annual gas credit brought relief on my gas bill across two months.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At least you have a valid reason. I actually asked around and all my co-workers told me their utility bills shot up, too, and it was normal usage for them. Lucky you get a credit for your gas, I wish we have that here but one must be low income to get that and I’m nowhere at that level.

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