Friday, October 19, 2007

I love autumn, but yikes!

Fall is one of my favorite seasons. This year the leaves are especially vivid for the Seattle area. Probably because it’s chilly. more like a typical Midwest October than Seattle’s usual mild weather. About a week ago we turned on the furnace. The thing went on and off and on and off. Neither my husband nor I is mechanically inclined or do-it-yourselfers (you did not want to be at my house the one time he installed a new toilet!), so we called for help. The expert who came out replaced a part and recommended a good cleaning. He also expressed grave doubts that our furnace would live much longer. (It’s really old!) a few days later the cleaning guy showed up, About an hour into vacuuming the vents he noticed what the repair man had not: a huge hole in the exhaust pipe. This cavity was spitting toxic fumes into our house—and we didn’t even know it! Cleaning guy promptly disconnected the burner. He also charged us for his services, which were no longer needed. Ouch!

Next we invited two furnace experts into our home for advice and bids on a replacement furnace. The old one was oil, and we hoped that maybe we could switch without too much expense. Wrong! Oil it is—bio-diesel, which is better for the planet than regular oil. It’ll be another week or so before the furnace is installed. Thank goodness for the fireplace insert in the family room, and for portable heaters.

New furnace or not, from now on were having the thing serviced every year as a preventative.

How does this apply to writing (you so knew it would)? Hint: the clue is the annual servicing.

I’m a goal-setter. (If you don’t set goals, how will you know what to aim for?) I set annual, five-year, and even ten-year goals. But it’s been awhile since I’ve done any long-range planning. So, along with the annual furnace checkup, I have made a pact with myself to update both my short -and long-range goals once a year. In December, when I’m thinking about the new year.

What about you? Do you have goals? Do you update them on a regular basis? I’d love to know.

Until next time,
Mitch Takes A Wife, August 2007
All I Want for Christmas, November 2007


Heather MacAllister said...

Oil furnace. I'm trying to imagine. We're still running the air conditioner. And I've changed over to my fall shorts :)

Ann Roth said...

Where do you live, Heather? Here in the Pacific NW we had a dismal summer--mostly cold and gray. Ugh!

Estella said...

I also live in the Pacific Northwest and it is raining and blowing here. We spent the morning picking up fir limbs and debris from our yard.
We have had a fire for over 2 weeks now.
I don't make long range plans. Something always comes up and derails them.

Ann Roth said...

Estella - I hope you didn't lose power. Do you make short-term plans? If my plans somehow get derailed, I adjust them to fit. :-)

Lila said...

I usually have a lot of goals... I keep list that are updated about once a week :)

Ellen said...

I'm still running the AC also and probably won't turn the furnace on until Dec or Jan. I do have it checked every year and it runs on natural gas.
I rarely make long term plans except when it comes to old age. I do have plans about who is going to take care of me when I can no longer take care of myself.
I love to travel but those a seldom made until a couple of weeks or less before I go.

Heather MacAllister said...

Ann, I'm in Houston. But you were asking about goals. I set three kinds--really easy so I will have success, moderate, that will require work, and pie-in-the-sky.

Read/post on Harlequin American Author's Blog - check :) See? Success!

Jennifer said...

Hi Ann. Funny you should mention it, but I've got our furnace scheduled to be serviced this week. :)

As for goals, my short-term goal is to give NaNo a shot this year. My long-term goal is to write three stories next year. Here's crossing my fingers that I'll succeed.

Ann Roth said...

Lila- You sound like my kind of woman. -)
Jennifer- Lots of luck with the furnace!
Heather - Love your three kinds of goals. Lots to think about ...

Lily said...

Autumn is nice... but it is dreadflu when you know winter and snow and cold weather is coming!

I do lists in my mind only, and they are very easily forgotten!

Roxann Delaney said...

I'm in the Midwest, and we've had weather in the mid to upper 80's until the last week or so.

Ann, you've been having the weather we should be having!

Goals?! Just getting through another day is usually my goal. when I make goal for the week, someone else enjoys coming along and finding something else I "need" to do. But I do keep trying.