Saturday, January 11, 2014

Jim's Energy-Saving "Suggestions"

Warning: This is an obnoxiously long post, but you'll be so much smarter in the end! ;)

My husband works for the electric company. Not only that, he's really smart.

No, really. He is.

Over the years, he has given us some really helpful hints and suggestions on how we should do things around here...not only to save money, but to also do things in a logical and efficient manner.

And I'm nothing if not logical and efficient.

So, yeah.

I just honestly don't have the brain power or the desire to understand the complexity of how electricity works. I just want to flip the switch and have the lights come on...or go off. Whatever. And if it's not working, hey...I can dial that 1-800 number like nobody's business.

Plus, my mind is filled to capacity with other things like the fact that we're out of bananas and how I haven't been able to find my recipe book since we moved here 1 1/2 years ago.

So I'll just give you a few basic suggestions on how to be energy-efficient. It's a's a gift.

First, there's the thing about what you should put your thermostat on in the summertime. We keep our house on the warm side of cool. Because that's efficient.

Jim used to try to wait to turn on the air-conditioning until June. And then one year it was May. And then one year, it was April.

And that's how Jim died.


I don't was like a sense of accomplishment for him...especially if he could tell his family, "well, we had to break down and turn on the air-conditioning on May 7th...because The Moose (he calls me The Moose) got hot."

That's right...blame it all on me. I don't even currrr.

In the wintertime, we keep our house on the cool side of warm.


Side note: Two months ago, we had to have our entire downstairs unit replaced with a brand-new, energy efficient one...and now Jim is a little less wound up about what we keep our thermostat set on than he was before.

Also, one thing we never, ever do is switch back and forth. Like, you know how there are those weeks when it is really, really warm at the beginning...and then it turns really, really cool at the end?

Oh, you don't? Well, we live in Arkansas...and we do.

Happens all the time.

In our home, once you switch on the A/ don't go back to Heat. Not until the wintertime. Not ever.

I don't get it either...that's just the way it is.

So here are Jim's suggestions on how to take a shower. What you do after your shower depends on the season of the year.

At this point, I'd like to offer this quote from the theologian known as Julia Sugarbaker: "I'm saying this is the South. And we're proud of our crazy people. We don't hide them up in the attic. We bring 'em right down to the living room and show 'em off..."

One thing that never changes is that you must shower...FAST. Because that's efficient.

Now, in the summertime, when you take a gets all hot and steamy in the bathroom. YUCK. What do you do? Open the door and let all that steam out, right?


You don't want to put all that heat and steam out in the house if it's summer. That will make your air-conditioner kick on and your unit will have to work harder to get the temp back down to where it's supposed to be and DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH THAT COSTS?

So, in the take a shower and the bathroom gets all hot and steamy. What do you do? Nothing, right? Because it's nice and warm in there. You use a towel and rub a little circle on the mirror so that you can see and you stay in there as long as you can.


You open the bathroom door IMMEDIATELY. The heat and steam from your bathroom will actually help heat your house. It doesn't matter that you are freezing and your skin is turning blue...think of how much money you are saving!

If you take a hot bath at night, don't drain the water out when you're done. Oh no. You let the water sit in there ALL NIGHT LONG and you open the door to let the heat escape. Again, it will heat up other rooms of your house and you don't have to do anything! It's just that, in the morning, you'll have to reach your hand down into the cold water of your own filth that has set out all night lift the plug and let it drain. Blech. I am not a fan.

Also, if you take a hot bath at night, it had better be wintertime. You do not take hot baths in the summer. You just don't.

Side note: When our kids were little, they took lonnnnnng showers. Logan, especially. Jim would knock on the door and tell him to hurry...and Logan would say, "Yes, sir...I AM HURRYING," and 10-12 minutes later, he would still be in there. It was a constant source of aggravation for Jim. He would say, "does he not understand how much our water bill is?"

No, no he does not...because he is 8.

But there was this one day, and Logan was in the shower for a LONG time...and Jim had already told him to hurry up more than once. Finally, Logan comes out and he's all wrapped up in a towel. His blond hair is wet and tousled. He has the towel wrapped so that all we can see are his big, blue eyes. He comes into the living room and before Jim could utter a word, Logan says, "I'm sorry for taking such a long shower, but I spent most of the time ASKING JESUS INTO MY HEART."


After that, his long showers didn't matter as much.

Let's see...what else can I share? I want to help you. Because, again...I'm a giver.

Oh, yes...candles. I love a good candle, don't you? I like to light one every day...especially in the winter. I think it just adds to the cozy.

Well, one day...and it was summertime...I had a candle lit, and Jim came in and said, "you have no idea how much heat that candle generates, do you?"

Why, no, Thomas Edison...I do not.

He then proceeded to go into a lengthy explanation about innocuous things around a house that produce heat and use electricity, like candles and Glade plug-ins. I don't honestly know what all he said. I may or may not have blacked out at some point, because you know what I don't ever want to hear? How much heat is generated by ONE SMALL CANDLE lit in my home for an hour.

Now, I realize that I may have painted my husband as the Captain of the crazy train, but he's not really crazy. You know that right? We all laugh at him a LOT when he offers these suggestions to us. He's just always trying to help our family save money where we can. While at times I have chaffed at some of his suggestions, I will have to say that our lives have been infinitely better and more productive because of them.

You might even say they've been more efficient.

See what I did there?

And the other thing I have to say is that I take a bath when I want and shower the way I want and I will most certainly light a candle in our home every night...but some things, like the candle thing and Glade plug-ins thing, are just good to know, you know?

"Instruct a wise man, and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man, and he will learn more." Proverbs 9:9


  1. You had me at "It's a calling... it's a gift." I'm pretty sure you're part of my family. But pretty please don't tell my husband the candle thing, mmmkay?