What with the solstice last week I can feel the days drawing in. I love fall, but it always reminds me of the opportunities I missed during the summer. Now that the sun is setting before 7PM I can't help but regret the post-dinner hikes and bike rides and runs I didn't take back in June and July when it was light until nine. And soon enough it will be dark when I get home from work.
Seriously, though, I really enjoy fall and winter! There's something enjoyably primal about battening down the hatches (or at least putting those plastic storm-window sheets over the windows) and curling up with a hot beverage and a throw blanket or two. In my last apartment we had no control over our heat (steam radiators controlled at the building level) so I am really looking forward to having control of my own heat this winter. And on the gas company website I was able to see how many therms the previous tenant used over the last couple of winters, so I'm geekily looking forward to seeing whether I can use less gas than she did. I lead an exciting life.
Also on the energy-saving front, I replaced most of my light bulbs with fluorescents yesterday. And while I was at it, I washed the old-fashioned glass shades on the ceiling lights in the sink. Man, were they gross. One was full of dead ladybugs. So I'm glad I got that cleaned up. Next: cleaning out under my range top. A couple of weeks ago I spilled something down there and when I went to clean it up, I discovered that no one had cleaned under the range top in a long time, maybe not since it was installed (and it is an old stove). I started cleaning it up, but it was just too much work with the tools and products I had at hand, and I have not been able to bring myself to open up the range top since. I'm not sure what I'm going to need to use to clean it up... hopefully I won't set anything on fire in the process. At least there weren't any ladybugs.
Oh, and speaking of my stove, yesterday I baked bread in a covered casserole and it has the awesomest crust in all the land! If you have not tried baking bread in a casserole or dutch oven or whatever, can I just very very strongly recommend that you do so? The bread itself was only OK, because I only decided at around 5:30 that I wanted fresh bread to go with my pumpkin soup, so I couldn't give it as much rising time as I would have liked and still eat it that same evening, but it was not bad at all for 2-hour bread. I can't wait to bake a nice bread that I make with a proper sponge and everything in the pot. Yum.