It's November and the weather has finally realized that the season is currently autumn, not summer.
Up through the middle of last week we'd been experiencing a warm, dry autumn. In fact, the Rational Living household hadn't fired up the furnace until last Thursday - typically this happens around two weeks earlier in the season. Although our area had it's first official "hard" freeze last week, our own corner of the city did not, so we we still have peppers and basil (!) working their hardest to produce something worthwhile in the garden.
Now that the weather is more seasonally appropriate even the furnace doesn't keep the chill out of the house entirely. It's not that we have poor insulation or a faulty furnace - we have decent insulation and a modern, high efficiency furnace. It's mainly due to the fact that during the winters we keep the thermostat set at 62 degrees (higher if company is expected).
Energy conservation during the winter was a big worry during WWII, since much of the coal reserves were needed for the war machine. There were multiple instances of families running out of coal mid-winter and not being able to secure more because of scarce availability.
Obviously, we don't have that problem today but we still feel a responsibility to use these resources judiciously.
So, friend...have you turned on your furnace? What is your thermostat setting?