Considering it's January, there isn't much snow on the ground. I keep finding those weird little Japanese lady bug beetles crawling around on the windows. Usually we get a bunch of those beetles in the fall and then they vanish until the following year. Not this year. All that unseasonably warm weather has affected them, I guess. I keep wishing for some sustained actual winter weather, temps that stay in single digits for more than a couple days, maybe a blizzard or two with winds howling out of the north. I want to have weather cold enough long enough to do a realistic comparison of heating bills for the museum. We put that siding up; I want to see if it makes a difference.
The last two gas bills were dramatically lower than what they had been a year ago, but both November and December were not normal months. They were warm, really, really warm. Gas consumption for November dropped by almost 70 percent, December was down by about 60 percent, but how much of that was the closing of the holes in the walls and how much is weather-related? There's no way to tell. But if we'd have a prolonged definitely frigid spell and the numbers still stayed noticeably below what they used to be, maybe I could say with confidence the siding made a difference.
Of course, just not being able to see daylight between the logs has made a difference to what it feels like to work there in the winter. So did replacing the warped back door. No more drafts whistling, no more little snowdrifts forming in the hallway. . . It definitely feels cozier.
I'll probably be down at the museum for at least a few hours this weekend. We did some shuffling so I've got a couple of display cases to neaten up. No dramatic changes to any exhibits, but things did get moved and now have to be put back. . . and as long as I'm putting stuff back, I might as well try to improve the labels and overall interpretation. I'm not sure just how much attention most museum visitors actually pay to the labels and other interpretive material -- most people seem more interested in wandering down Nostalgia Lane and remembering the toys of their childhood or recognizing dishes like their grandmother had -- but that doesn't mean no one looks at the other exhibits. I'll confess, though, that I am kind of running out of steam. My enthusiasm is waning; I just can't work up the ambition I could a year or so ago. I'm not spending as many hours at the museum as I did when I'd go in back when I first started volunteering and I don't get as much done as I'd like to when I am there. Maybe it's the season -- too many gray days, too much in-between weather that can't make up its mind whether or not it's actually Winter. Oh well. . . as long as I can manage to get things back into some semblance of order before the end of May when we open for the 2016 season, we'll be fine.